Health ministry penalizes Mt. Lebanon town for burning trash

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The Health Ministry Sunday issued a penalty against a Mount Lebanon municipality for dumping and burning garbage near a highway, endangering the health of locals.

The ministry found trash recently burnt in the Aley town of Kahaleh. Since the start of Lebanon's trash crisis last summer, Mounds of garbage have accumulated on the side of the Beirut-Damascus Highway and dumped in valleys in Khaldeh and the surrounding area.

The ministry referred the case to relevant authorities through the qaimaqam of Aley.

Nearly 100 municipalities have so far been referred to the judiciary for trash burning.

Interior Minister Nouhad Machnouk issued warnings at the request of the Health Ministry in November, urging municipalities to stop burning trash due to extreme environmental and health risks.

Greater Beirut and Mount Lebanon have suffered a chronic environmental crisis since the state closed the Naameh landfill on July, 17 2015 with no alternative.

Tons of trash has piled up in municipalities, sometimes in hazardous locations.

Many municipalities have however found ways to manage their own waste. Towns and villages around the country have begun recycling more seriously, in a bid to rid their areas of unofficial dump sites.

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