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    Rubbish or resource?

    Environmental and social responsibility of municipalities and businesses in Lebanon

  • The project aims to help reduce the negative impact on health and the environment of pollution and contamination of air, soil and water in Lebanon. In this context, we work to spread environmental and social responsibility in the management of municipal solid waste and to improve the system of collection, treatment and disposal of civil and industrial waste. We also promote the introduction of innovative and sustainable production and consumption systems and the creation of respectable jobs in the waste supply chains in the districts of Hasbaya, Saida and Tyre.

  • 50.4% more waste collected and treated per day

    42,056 people involved in South Lebanon

    0.3% reduction of greenhouse gas emissions

In Lebanon, waste management is a serious problem. A World Bank study estimated that the cost of environmental pollution from illegal dumping and burning of waste is about $10 million per year.

The studies carried out by CELIM during 2021 have shown that one of the reasons behind the contamination of air, water and soil that negatively impacts the environment and human health in Lebanon is the poor environmental and social responsibility of both municipalities and small and medium-sized enterprises, with particular reference to the incorrect, inefficient and non-integrated management of municipal solid waste. With poor waste reuse or recycle practices  and incorrect final disposal practices, the amount of improperly disposed of waste increases unsustainably, with a consequent increase of the negative impacts on health and the environment.

The causes for this can be attributed to an insufficient or, where existing, poor quality separate collection system; poor waste treatment, inadequate disposal and limited productivity of the small and medium-sized enterprises in the waste management chain.

Located on top of hills, the open-air landfills of Hasbaya and Cheeba receive municipal solid waste from the main towns on a daily basis. Plastic, paper, glass, organic waste are piled up in large heaps that on windy days spread throughout the territory, crossing the boundaries of the landfills and polluting pastures, cultivated fields and river waters.

In a context such as that of Lebanon, a country destroyed by the economic crisis, the inefficiency of the political class and the growing social pressure linked to the presence of an increasing number of Syrian refugees, less and less attention is paid to the environment, which, compared to the current emergency situation, is considered a secondary problem. While among young people there is greater awareness and knowledge of separate collection practices, most of the population find it very difficult to move in this direction. In addition to an insufficient number of structures that carry out separate collection, there is no collective willingness to create more.

The project can have a positive impact in changing people’s mindsets and making them aware of the importance of reducing, reusing and recycling waste. The impact will consequently lead to a gradual reduction of greenhouse gas emissions from disposed of waste (especially in open-air landfills, which are widespread throughout the country) an will also contribute to mitigate climate change.

Project overview

  • Introduction of a separate collection management system in Hasbaya and Chebaa, the two largest towns in the district, and revision of the Rashaya al-Foukhar’s existing collection plan, to address the problem of insufficient or, where existing, poor quality separate collection
  • Improvement of the currently inadequatewaste treatment with the realisation of three composting centres in Hasbaya, Chebaa and Rashaya al-Foukhar and two recyclable separation centres in Hasbaya and Chebaa
  • Identification of twenty small and medium-sized enterprises that will be financially supported based onthe development and business plans drawn up by the same
  • Organisation of an environmental impact awareness campaign, both for the twenty small and medium-sized enterprises and for other private sector players. To address non-compliance with minimum labour standards, companies will be supported and monitored to ensure these standards are met and respectablejobs are promoted through research, the creation of information material and the implementation of advocacy activities.

Beneficiaries

38,925 people in the Hasbaya district of which:

  • 15,000 inhabitants of Hasbaya
  • 23,000 inhabitants of Chebaa (20,000 Lebanese plus 3,000 Syrian refugees)
  • 700 inhabitants of Rashaya al-Foukhar
  • 225 inhabitants of the other 9 municipalities

4,175 among entrepreneurs, workers and experts:

  • 20 entrepreneurs and 260 workers of the 20 companies
  • 1,895 individuals who, together with 20 entrepreneurs and at least 85 workers, are involved in the environmental impact campaign
  • 2,000 individuals who will participate in the round table discussions and/or will be made aware through the respectable jobs reports
  • We are Dana Sabek, environmental engineer, and Rabab Aouad, agronomist. We work with CELIM Lebanon
  • Title of the project: Rubbish or resource? Environmental and social responsibility of companies and municipalities

    Project manager: Giulia Giavazzi, [email protected]

  • Date:  august  2022 – july 2025

    Partner: CESVI, Oxfam Uk, Oxfam Italia, Ingegneria senza frontiere Milano, Politecnico di Milano, Municipalità di Hasbaya e Chebaa

Donors

Support the activities

  • 20 €

    To help organize the awareness campaigns

  • 50 €

    To help purchase containers for separate collection

  • 100 €

    To support the training of entrepreneurs and workers

  • 200 €

    To help construct a recyclable waste separation plant

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