Kataeb MP Elias Hankache on Thursday deemed the waste management file as the biggest robbery process witnessed since the independence until today, blaming officials for mishandling this file and not finding a suitable solution for the crisis that has prevailing over Lebanon for the past years.
“According to official figures, Lebanon produces 7,340 tons of waste per day which is equivalent to 1kg and 400g per capita,” Hankache said during a press conference.
“As for the studies we trust the most, they talk about a 0.7kg of individual production which is equal to 4,000 per day,” he noted.
“This difference goes to people's pockets who benefit the most from this file,” he added.
Hankache announced that 80% of Lebanon's waste is being dumped, saying that for that reason the country has reached the absorptive capacity so quickly in a time when 89% of the waste can be used.
“We are in need of sorting and treatment centers; some have been implemented in various municipalities such as Bickfaya,” he said.
“Landfills have transformed their areas into epidemic areas and all these regions suffer because there is no accurate waste management,” he stressed.
“It is now the time to put an end to the landfills’ extension,” he affirmed.
“27 years until today, the garbage file has cost Lebanon an amount of $11 billion, but we haven’t yet see neither infrastructure nor sorting and treatment centers,” he added, saying that all this money goes to brokers and those funded by political parties.
“Back when Suckleen was in charge of the garbage, the price of a ton of waste was $145. In 2015, they carried out a tender and then they cancelled it without knowing the reasons behind,” he added.
“Today the price of a ton of waste costs $110; this difference is a $126 million annually."
Hankache deemed Lebanon as one of the countries with the highest rate of cancer due to the garbage crisis and the bad environment, saying that the solution to this crisis lies in establishing treatment and sorting centers.
“The plan to treat the waste file that was around for 14 years was not implemented because they benefit from harming people,” he said.
"Why has no one dared to endorse the plan yet?” he asked.
“Instead of importing fertilizers and agricultural medicines, 53% of the waste can be benefit from and 36% of it could be recycled,” he pointed out.
“Once recycling is done, $75 million can be saved annually,” he added.
The Kataeb lawmaker accused Environment Minister Dimianos Kattar for the drastic waste situation prevailing over the country today, giving the latter a period of 6 days to find a solution for the extension of the Metn landfill.
“We call on all the Metn residents to refuse the extension of the landfill for what it poses from health and environmental threats,” he added.
Hankache stressed that there is an unparallel amount of corruption and harm to the environment in the Bisri dam project, saying that this green area cannot be destroyed for some people’s benefits.
“Geology studies have proved that it is impossible to construct a dam in such place,” he noted.
“We have been dealing with a rooted system for 30 years now and thanks to the October 17 revolution it was paralyzed,” he said.
“Today, we have a chance to change for a better Lebanon,” he ended.