The latest solution to Beirut’s trash problem fell through just two weeks ago. Back in July, the government closed the “temporary” Naameh landfill to the southeast of Beirut, stretched to capacity after 20 years of dumping. The government’s contract with a waste management company also happened to expire that month, meaning the city’s trash not only has nowhere to go—it also has no one to pick it up. In November, residents without options began a makeshift dump in the Jdeideh municipality, a city suburb. Hence, the “river of trash,” above.
A British firm was slated to export the city’s excess crud, piles and piles of which choke the streets of the Lebanese capital. But the plan petered out because the company, Chinook Urban Mining, failed the provide the Middle Eastern country’s government with paperwork proving that it could deposit the trash in Russia, as planned. The deal expired, taking the country’s trash problem “back to square one,” Reuters reported.