Ramco to col­lect Beirut mu­nic­i­pal waste

Five-year con­tract to in­clude in­stal­la­tion of col­lec­tion bins for re­cy­cling

The Daily Star (Lebanon) - - LEBANON - By Federica Marsi

BEIRUT: The Le­banese com­pany Ramco will take over waste col­lec­tion in Beirut in five months when Suk­leen sus­pends its op­er­a­tions, Beirut Mayor Ja­mal Itani an­nounced Fri­day.

“The com­pa­nies that got the high­est tech­ni­cal score [and won the bid­ding] is the Le­banese Ramco and the Turk­ish Al­tas,” Itani said at a me­dia con­fer­ence held at the mu­nic­i­pal­ity.

The joint ven­ture will be re­spon­si­ble for clean­ing, col­lect­ing and trans­port­ing solid house­hold waste in the ad­min­is­tra­tive city of Beirut for the next five years at a to­tal cost of $70 mil­lion. The con­tract in­cludes the pos­si­bil­ity of ex­tend­ing the agree­ment for an ad­di­tional two years if both par­ties agree.

Among the com­pa­nies’ re­spon­si­bil­i­ties is also the in­stal­la­tion of col­lec­tion bins for re­cy­cling, which Itani en­vi­sions to be a first step to­ward the de­vel­op­ment of a waste-to-en­ergy sys­tem. A plant de­signed to com­bust waste in or­der to pro­duce elec­tric­ity is be­ing pro­moted by the mayor as Beirut’s own so­lu­tion to the trash cri­sis.

Col­lec­tion bins of three dif­fer­ent kinds are sched­uled to be placed in 250 un­der­ground col­lec­tion points, as well as above ground. In or­der to max­i­mize the sys­tem’s ef­fi­ciency, spe­cial col­lec­tion schemes have been drafted for schools and restau­rants, where the amounts of pa­per and or­ganic waste re­spec­tively ex­ceed that of house­holds.

Itani said an aware­ness cam­paign would be con­ducted in the next five months in or­der to in­form the pub­lic about the new re­cy­cling scheme. The new waste man­age­ment op­er­a­tions were de­signed based on “the prin­ci­ple of re­duc­ing the vol­ume of waste be­fore dis­posal,” the mayor said.

The ve­hi­cles used for col­lec­tion were also de­scribed as “non-pol­lut­ing.” How­ever, the plan laid out by the mu­nic­i­pal­ity en­tails the use of “high-qual­ity ga­so­line and diesel” rather than hy­brid or elec­tric ve­hi­cles.

The fi­nal dis­posal is sched­uled to be dealt with by the mu­nic­i­pal­ity’s waste-to-en­ergy project, which crit­ics say is no dif­fer­ent to an in­cin­er­a­tor. The project, for which a ten­der is cur­rently be­ing drafted, was en­vis­aged to trans­form the re­main­ing, non-re­cy­clable waste into en­ergy.

In a pre­vi­ous in­ter­view with The Daily Star, Itani said that the mu­nic­i­pal­ity would pro­vide the land and have an equity share.

The bid-win­ning com­pany, Ramco, is also among the four pre­s­e­lected bid­ders for the con­struc­tion of the waste-to-en­ergy fa­cil­ity, this time in a joint ven­ture with the Korean com­pany Doosan. Sim­i­larly, JCC and Man have also been se­lected as bid­ders in both ten­ders.

Rep­re­sen­ta­tives of the civil plat­form Beirut Mad­i­nati present at the me­dia con­fer­ence Fri­day ar­gued that the Court of Au­dit has not yet is­sued a fi­nal de­ci­sion re­gard­ing the ten­der, and there­fore the an­nounce­ment raised ques­tions. The group also claimed that the mu­nic­i­pal­ity had not been suf­fi­ciently trans­par­ent in pro­vid­ing in­for­ma­tion on the ten­ders.

“In or­der to as­sess what is go­ing on and to know the rel­e­vance of th­ese ac­tions, we need to have in­for­ma­tion,” An­dre Sleiman, rep­re­sen­ta­tive of Beirut Mad­i­nati, told The Daily Star. “It is the mu­nic­i­pal­ity’s re­spon­si­bil­ity to fa­cil­i­tate ac­cess to them.”

The group also sent a press re­lease in an­tic­i­pa­tion of the con­fer­ence, de­tail­ing a num­ber of tech­ni­cal con­cerns on the new waste col­lec­tion con­tract, in­clud­ing the cost of the waste man­age­ment ser­vices.

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