A civil society group called “Against Diseases” organized a march on Sunday from the eastern Beirut suburb of Sadd al-Baoushriyeh to a dump site in Karantina, according to the state-run National News Agency.
The march, which started outside the Sadd al-Baouchriyeh electricity company, decried the ongoing waste crisis in the country.
Large piles of trash have been lined up along the Beirut River bank in Karantina, an industrial zone near the capital. Sadd al-Baouchriyeh also has large mounds of trash piled up amongst residential buildings, which is often burned or, more recently, washed away by rainwater.
The protesters called on the government to end the crisis quickly and remove accumulating trash from the streets, reminding officials of the scenes of garbage bags floating on rainwater along roads in Sadd al-Baouchriyeh a week ago.
Protesters handed out leaflets explaining how to recycle at home and reduce waste, in a bid to engage citizens.
They also called on the government to give municipalities the funds they own them, in order to help them deal with the trash crisis on their own, effectively decentralizing the waste sector, a constant demand of the popular movements.
A spokesperson read out a statement harshly lambasted politicians from both the March 8 and 14 groups, accusing them of corruption and condemning their failure in solving the crisis.
"Lebanon is heading towards a dangerous epidemic, and the politicians are turning the crisis into a sectarian issue, as this is what they are used to... This symbolizes their sectarian and mafia-like attitude in everything" she said.
"More than 100 people were detained for a combined 200 days just because they took to the streets demanding an end to the crisis," she continued, reiterating the civil society groups demands in releasing municipality funds and finding environmentally friendly solutions to the problem.
Civil society movements Saturday called on the Lebanese to join the march against the spread of diseases, in fears that the mix of rainwater with the trash will lead to epidemics such as cholera.
A nearly four-month waste crisis reached its climax as the first winter rains washed piles of garbage onto streets. The crisis began when the infamous Naameh dump shut down in July. Originally designed to receive 2 million tons of trash, Naameh had received over 15 million by the time of its closure.
The government's inaction to resolve the waste crisis drew discontent among the Lebanese, with rival parties having so far failed to reach an agreement on the implementation of Agriculture Minister Akram Chehayeb’s plan.
The plan calls for dividing Beirut and Mount Lebanon’s trash between landfills in Akkar, the Bekaa Valley and potentially Karantina, in Burj Hammoud, while municipalities prepare to take responsibility for their own waste over the coming 18 months.