SIDON, Lebanon: A delegation of Lebanese officials toured a waste sorting plant in the south of Lebanon Thursday and presented an expansion plan to improve its efficiency. MP and caretaker Minister of State for Administrative Development Inaya Ezzeddine argued that the current system is not sustainable because the sorting plant, situated in the town of Ain Baal and funded by the United States Agency for International Development, is receiving more waste than it is equipped to handle. An expansion plan is underway to mitigate the burden on the sorting plant.

The plan will cost $3 million, to be funded by the World Bank and implemented by the Council for Development and Reconstruction.

While the area may produce up to 300 tons of trash, the plant only receives and processes 150 tons, converting it into mostly compost.

However, that number is still too high, according to the CDR.

There are 300 tons of waste produced every day in Tyre and its surrounding towns and camps, said Hassan Dabouq, the head of the Union of Municipalities of Tyre.

The plant doesnt have the capabilities to sort this much trash. There has to be an additional step taken before the trash arrives at the plant.

Ezzeddine said the new plan includes reducing, recycling and sorting the waste before it arrives at the plant. Trash is a product and through recovering its resources, we can create jobs, she said.

The group, which included Ezzeddine, Dabouq and a CDR delegation accompanied by environmental activists and civil society representatives, visited the waste sorting plant and discussed its environmental ramifications.

The environment is a whole and integrated system, not a laboratory or an extension [that can be removed or changed], Ezzeddine said after the tour.

She added that the CDR will set up consultation meetings with the people of Tyre and the region to explain the new plan and discuss practical steps that can be taken.

The environment is a [culture] and we need to change our relationship with it, to nourish it, Ezzeddine said. Its not the job of the state [to make us value the environment]. The Daily Star

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