20 kilometers south of Beirut, it is hard to believe the place is still able to receive the entirety of waste produced from Beirut and Mount Lebanon. The Naameh landfill project was launched in 1997 after the closure of a dumpsite at the Normandy seafront in Beirut two years earlier. The new landfill was set to operate for five years, with the collection and disposal of waste from various municipalities and towns to be handled by private waste management firm Sukleen.
After five years, a new landfill was to be established somewhere else. That date has long come and gone, and yet the landfill still growing .
The landfill was designed to hold up to 3 million tons of refuse, but by its fourth year, it reached capacity. It also wasn’t to exceed a height of 20 meters, another limit it has managed to surpass.
“There are now over 15 million tons of garbage.
The government was set to begin working on another sanitary landfill in the southern region of Iqlim al-Kharroub a few years ago, but the project was discontinued when residents took to the streets and staged angry protests.
The major source of irritation is its smell and as normal as that may be for a town living by a garbage dump, the people are still unable to adapt, despite its many years in operation.
Landfill gas, which is mostly composed of methane and carbon dioxide, is a result of chemical reactions and microbes acting upon the waste, that, once released in the atmosphere, can lead to severe environmental and hygienic problems.