Piles of rubbish are once again clogging streets across Lebanon's capital Beirut, only six months after the long-running waste crisis supposedly came to an end. The waste-management problem started in July last year following the closure of Naameh, Beirut's main landfill, due to overcapacity. Mountains of garbage were left to pile up in Beirut and its surrounding mountains, while a lack of suitable alternative dumping grounds spurred protests over the government's failure to find a solution. In a bid to end the crisis, the Lebanese government announced in March a temporary three -year plan to clear the refuse, which included the re-opening of two already closed landfills and the establishment of waste treatment facilities. But most of those promises have not been met, and rubbish piles are once again growing in Beirut suburbs.
Beirut - A year into Lebanon's rubbish crisis, government officials have yet to find a long-term solution for the closure of the Naameh landfill site. The crisis prompted anti-government protests last summer after mountains of rubbish accumulated in the capital, Beirut. Although rubbish is no longer piling up in the streets - with waste from Beirut and Mount Lebanon being diverted to a temporary landfill in Bourj Hammoud - politicians have yet to establish two proposed new sanitary landfill sites in Costa Brava and Bourj Hammoud. In the meantime, there has been a gradual shift in public attitudes towards rubbish, with grassroots efforts emerging to promote recycling as an eco-friendly alternative. "The point is to inspire active citizenship," Armenian-Lebanese activist Varant Kurkjian told Al Jazeera.
Sanitation workers began removing mountains of trash from the suburbs of Beirut on Saturday in what residents hoped would mark the end of Lebanon's eight-month garbage crisis. Early in the day, dozens of trucks started carrying trash to the Naameh landfill just south of the capital, one of three landfills opened as part of a temporary solution announced by the government a week ago. As garbage began piling up in Beirut last year, protesters formed the "You Stink" movement, demanding sweeping reform in Lebanon's government. Since the peaks of the protest in the summer, authorities managed to blunt the public anger by ensuring that the streets of Beirut were kept relatively garbage-free. However, the trash was instead pushed to the city's periphery, where it piled up along roadsides and the banks of the Beirut River.
Eric Lundgren, the 33-year-old, fedora-wearing CEO of a major electronic waste recycling plant in Los Angeles, could be called both the Elon Musk and the Edward Snowden of e-waste. Elon Musk because in 2017 he built an electric car out of recycled batteries that broke the world record for electric vehicle range. Edward Snowden because he's currently serving a prison sentence for copyright infringement, as a result of printing 28,000 Windows restore disks to be distributed with repaired computers. Lundgren's court case and electronic creations have made him an icon for the Right to Repair Movement and e-waste reuse. An unexpected outcome of his sentencing is a boosted interest in the psychology and economics of electronic waste.