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A Toxics-Free Future


Lebanon Hotspot Garbage Mountain

Burning dump POPs hotspot.

This report documents an uncontrolled solid waste landfill hotspot on the Southern coast of Lebanon in the city of Saida, bordered by the Alexander Sea, Awali River and Siniq River. The dump, known as "Garbage Mountain," contains about one million cubic meters of waste and is in direct contact with the sea. The accumulated waste is a mixture of municipal, agricultural, industrial, hospital and slaughter waste. PCBs and POPs pesticides, as well as hazardous wastes such as paints and tannery wastes are suspected. Soil represents around 75% of the total volume of the site. The landfill is located next to archeological sites. Parts of the accumulated waste regularly fall into the sea. Pockets of methane gas have been known to build up, resulting in fires and uncontrolled burning. Currently, no known analyses or site monitoring activities have been conducted, nor is there adequate waste composition data. Clean-up plans have been drafted, but only recently at the end of 2005 did the Municipality of Saida, relevant Ministries and NGOs agree on a common plan, which includes excavation, segregation, composting, recycling, land-filling, mitigation and monitoring. The report recommends cooperation and collaboration as well as awareness-raising as tools to contribute to the success of the plan.

Report documenting the state of the Saida landfill hotspot and need for action at the site

Association pour la Protection de l'Environnement et du Patrimoine (APEP)