With waste mounting in the streets, thousands of protesters have marched to the Lebanese government headquarters, where the Cabinet has approved plans for two new landfill sites and the re-opening of another.
Demonstrators want to see a permanent recycling plan put in place, not more waste going into the ground.
“We want to tell the ‘rubbish’ who are inside the parliament that we are staying in the streets until they go. We want both them and the rubbish to go away,” said Rita Hanna a protester.
The crisis began when Beirut’s main landfill site at Naameh was closed last July with no alternative in place.
The rubbish has since piled up on beaches, mountain forests and along river beds.
A plan to export waste was scrapped because of paperwork problems.
The firm chosen to export the garbage failed to obtain the necessary documents showing that Russia, where the garbage was supposed to be taken, had agreed to accept it.
The protests echoed widespread discontent with politicians’ failure to provide basic state services.