Agriculture Minister Akram Chehayeb said Monday that the ministerial committee overseeing the country’s trash crisis will hold a final meeting in the upcoming days to set a Cabinet session to approve a plan to export garbage.
“We discussed [foreign] companies’ proposals,” Chehayeb said after a meeting for the committee chaired by Prime Minister Tammam Salam at the Grand Serail.
He revealed that the committee chose several companies and signed preliminary agreements awaiting the Cabinet meeting. “We discussed the sources of funding with the Interior Ministry and Finance Ministry and the Council for Development and Reconstruction. We expect them to respond within 48 hours.”
Chehayeb said that the matter “is being closely followed up,” saying that the crisis has “reached an end.”
“After the landfills plan was obstructed we had to discuss in earnest the exporting option with what suits the Treasury’s interest and capabilities of the state.”
Salam’s visitors quoted him as saying Sunday that a Cabinet session to approve a commercial deal to export the accumulated trash is not far off. “Preparations are underway to put the final touches on decisions concerning the garbage issue as a prelude to approving them.”
Chehayeb, who has been tasked with resolving the country’s 5-month-old waste crisis, told The Daily Star Friday that efforts were underway to finalize the deal and export over 100,000 tons of garbage that is thought to have accumulated in exposed dumps in Beirut and Mount Lebanon since authorities closed the overused Naameh landfill in July.
The meeting was held in the presence of Finance Minister Ali Hasan Khalil, Interior Minister Nouhad Machnouk and head of the CDR Nabil Jisr.