The Daily Star (Lebanon)

Expert says bad Beirut smells coming from trash, sewage


BEIRUT: An internatio­nal consultant hired by the Environmen­t Ministry has identified the main sources of intense putrid odors that have swept over parts of Beirut in recent months, marking the completion of the first step in combating them.

In a survey of five sites, Aime Menassa, an odor treatment expert, determined that the cause of the smells was garbage in various states of decomposit­ion, sewage, manure and refuse from slaughterh­ouses.

Menassa pinpointed two main areas affected by these smells. The first includes Burj Hammoud, Jdeideh, Chiyah, Hadath and some parts of Beirut’s Ashrafieh, due to a “nauseating stench” coming from the Burj Hammoud landfill and the nearby Coral waste treatment plant.

Establishe­d in 2016, the landfill is set to reach capacity toward the end of summer. The Environmen­t Ministry is looking to expand the landfill, saying this would be the only way to prevent waste from piling onto Beirut’s streets, as happened in 2015, prompting widespread street protests. The landfill itself was ini

Menassa says tests are planned to attempt to combat the odors

tially deemed a temporary solution to the 2015 crisis, but the government has failed to adopt a sustainabl­e solution in the four years since.

Menassa identified the smells emanating from that area as stemming mainly from rotting garbage and poorly composted material.

Environmen­t Minister Fadi Jreissati could not be reached for comment by the time The Daily Star went to print.

The second region affected is the area around Beirut’s airport, mainly as a result of raw sewage in Ghadir and animal-related waste from farms and slaughterh­ouses.

Menassa said in a statement that biweekly tests were planned to attempt to combat these odors using Norasystem, a product developed by French company Phode that, according to its website, eliminates “malodorous molecules.”

Four types of Norasystem products will be tested at the Burj Hammoud landfill and the Coral waste treatment plant. Menassa, who works with Phode, said that dealing with the bad smells around the airport was more difficult because of the size of the area and the “extent of the odorous sources.”

The Environmen­t Ministry said in a statement that the materials for the treatment process were currently being shipped to Lebanon from abroad. It “will inform the public about the results [of these tests] as soon as they are available,” the statement said. –

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