Ex­pert says bad Beirut smells com­ing from trash, sewage

The Daily Star (Lebanon) - - LEBANON -

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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