And I have been used,
Now that I’m useless,
I’ve been rejected.
via Flickr http://flic.kr/p/m9eVvX
Strangely very few Lebanese people are aware of what has been going on in Beirut and mount Lebanon specifically over the past four days. But questions have started arising with the smells and pollution increases around their homes and streets.
So here’s the headline for those trying to figure out why trash has been piling up all over the streets and Sukleen trucks (whose job is to remove waste from the streets to the landfill) have been MIA: a sit-in has been taking place on the road leading to the landfill by residents of Naameh and Ain Drafill in protest over the lack of care and sky-rocketing degrees of pollution taking place in the landfill.
As some of you might know the landfill was excavated and ready to take in 2 thousand tons of waste for a limited time of 10 years until the government provides a new facility for the waste to be divided, treated accordingly, and made eco-friendly as to not destroy what is left of health in the country (which of course they still haven’t done anything about after 15 years and more than 10 thousand tons).
Now all I’ve read and seen are people protesting and not taking matters into their own hands; one blog post I read believes the best way to take matters into their own hands is by piling up the trash in front of our politician’s homes in the hopes that they will take action. But I believe otherwise.
If as many people as they say are protesting and feeling an unfairness when it comes to the treatment of trash in Beirut; the best way to treat the matter is either to provide a waste treatment plan for the government (who’s apparently too ignorant over what’s happening) or take matters into their own hands literarily and take action as NGOs in helping out Sukleen workers in the division of trash for later recycling.
Of course being Lebanese and thinking too high of ourselves, most of us prefer simply sending out the blame on others and/or getting Syrian, Sudanese, and Palestinian minority staff to do the “dirty job” for them.
I for one took matters into my own hands and got them dirty while growing up, by dividing my trash into plastics, paper, organic matter, glass, and solids over the years (a knowledge which I have learnt and acquired from my parents). Most of you will ask “then what? Now you have 5 different piles of trash but no way to get rid of them”. The answer is actually simple, we already have in Lebanon waste recycling facilities for plastic, glass, and papers; you simply need to look up the one that is closest to your home or arrange a monthly pick-up with the companies to help you out.
As for the organic matter, we Lebanese continuously use and abuse chemical additives as fertilizers for our plants, crops, or actual agricultural fields; which ends up seriously harming the environment as well as the fruits themselves. Why not instead make an organic compost in your back-garden; I know that you’re probably thinking we don’t have back-gardens in Beirut, just apartment houses; but in that case why not work with your building’s or street’s community and provide a space for you all to put your organic trash to be composted before using it as a natural fertilizer, or sending it off to those with agricultural farms in need of the nutrients it provides instead of spraying chemicals all over them.
When you look at it this way you realize almost 80% if not more of your trash will be re-used and going separate ways to different treatment facilities instead of piling up the whole load in one landfill and over-exceeding its size and limits.
As for the 20% of the non-reusable trash being sent to the landfill? Well the government will have to deal with them accordingly the same way all other countries treat their waste and dispose of it without harming the environment, water, or air; as well as providing the towns close to the landfill with clean living and a healthy future.
This kind of changes the perspective on things doesn’t it?
For those interested in a recycling plan, here are some companies that can help you out, not just by taking into their own hands your trash, but sometimes even paying you for it:
Still hoping for a greener Lebanon.