The Naameh landfill is still closed, Sukleen stopped working, garbage is invading our streets and some idiots have started burning trash not knowing that it’s very dangerous for their health and the environment. The government failed today to reach a decision which is not surprising because the solutions offered are not feasible and Minister Mashnouq should have thought of a contingency plan before reaching this stage.
Everyone is blaming the government for the garbage crisis but I will not waste my time pointing fingers because 1) our officials are all useless and 2) we don’t need more waste. Of course tweeting and nagging online about garbage is also sort of useless, but what we can do is spread awareness and help people take action by reducing waste and not make things worse.
To begin with, I advise everyone NOT to burn trash and REPORT anyone who does that to the police because it adds to air pollution, create an unpleasant smell especially when burning plastic, rubber or painted material and can produce a range of poisonous compounds. Moreover, fire can spread to buildings and trees and damage public properties. Yesterday, several Ogero units got damaged because of these fires and Beirut’s Fire Departments stated that it “doused more 140 fires set on dumpsters across Beirut since Monday”.
How to reduce waste?
I know Lebanese will not start recycling all of a sudden but there are ways to reduce waste, so please read them carefully and try to apply them as of tomorrow morning.
1- Bring home less stuff, Buy only what you need and buy in bulk
Next time you head to the supermarket, think about what you need and how you plan to use it before you buy. Avoid buying unnecessary products or stuff that you know you will end up throwing away. Avoid individually wrapped items and buy in bulk the items (preferably recyclable) that you use regularly to save money and reduce waste.
2- Stop ordering food:
I know this will upset many restaurants but avoid ordering food for now. Cook your own meal, prepare your own sandwiches or ask your mother to cook for you. You will end pleasing your mom, eating healthier food and reducing waste.
3- Use clothes instead of paper towels in the kitchen, go paperless at work:
Whenever you’re cooking in the kitchen or cleaning, avoid using paper towels and use instead cloth rags. As for work, try to reduce the amount of papers you’re printing and use every side of a notebook. Reduce the amount of unwanted mail you get and choose to have your statements and bills sent to you by email.
4- Avoid plastic cups, bottles and bags.
You’d be surprised by how many plastic cups you throw away every day. Get your own mug to work and avoid using plastic cups. Also whenever you are shopping for stuff, try to buy a recyclable bag and avoid using plastic grocery bags. It won’t cost you a thing and some supermarkets offer them for free. As far as water is concerned, try to buy reusable water bottles instead of the plastic ones you throw away.
5- Give away or sell the stuff you don’t need
Don’t just throw stuff in the garbage. Check to see if anyone is interested in buying things you don’t need and seek NGOs and organizations that collect trash and recyclable stuff. I will post on all the companies that recycle in Lebanon to help you out.
The above steps don’t require a government decision but individual efforts from each and every one of us. I will start implementing these tips and I hope you do the same to help reduce waste, encourage recycling and protect the environment and Lebanon for the generations to come. Recycling can be achievable and I’m asking around to see how we can help municipalities start recycling the soonest.
Update: Here are the companies in Lebanon that recycle with all the information you need. Please make good use of this list and share it with all your friends.
Most of you are already familiar with Ziad Abi Chaker’s Cedar Environmental Initiative. You can read more about it [here] and contact him at the below numbers:
Office Phone: +961 1 389404
Mobile: +961 3 293222
e-mail: email@example.com(contact person Ziad Abichaker)
Address: Cedar Eco-Industrial Park, Abou Mizane, Bickfaya – Lebanon.
Here’s the full list that is being shared online: