I watched the screening of the documentary “An Incinerator for Beirut” last week;
Our government is planning to acquire an incinerator or two from Denmark, to deal with the waste issue. However for the time being we are burning waste out in the open or throwing it into the sea, Ziad Abichaker traveled to Danemak and investigated on spot what’s going on. Here’s a few things I learned while watching the documentary:
Before 1970, Danemark used to throw their garbage in the sea because they didn’t know any better, out of which they are still suffering till today the consequences – 40 YEARS LATER!!!
Non-recyclable wastes and relatively small-metal wastes get burnt in full combustion chambers; recyclable wastes get recycled not burnt. Danemark do not have any procedure that decomposes huge metalic objects, nothing remotely close to “thermal disintegration”. A huge part of the burned wastes are used in the building of infrastructure, particularly the foundation of roads.
Danemak itself sends some of the recycled wasts to Norway (wastes that contain high dosage of toxic gases and metals like dioxine); Plasma is not applicable in Danemak and does not work efficiently on recycling household wastes. The most toxic residue of non-recyclable & metallic wastes is dioxine. We do not have any laboratory that tests for dioxine in Lebanon. The cost of such a factory costs around 1.5 million dollars.
According to the study of a professor in the American University of Beirut, we will be highly effected by the waste problem in Lebanon. Demographically, the radius effected extends to Achrafieh/Dora (40%) and Antelias (10%); consequences include genetic deformation.
As mentioned in the Human Rights Watch, despite protests calling for an end to the garbage crisis, more than 150 dumps across Lebanon are openly burning trash at least once a week. Older people and children are most at risk. Doctors say the burning leads to respiratory illnesses and could increase the risk of developing cancer as a result of sustained inhalation of smoke. The government of Lebanon can and should stop the burning and manage the waste in a way that respects health and meets environmental standards.
Our parliament is finally considering a national solid waste management law that would ban the open dumping and burning of waste. Take action today and tell the government to #StopTheBurning! Sign The Peitition NOW!
Having said that, every “recyclable waste” we do not recycle today is a step closer to getting cancer and having our genes deformed. Before just implementing the incinerator in Beirut, we should start by recycling our wastes! Again, those combustion chambers only burn NON RECYCLABLE wastes. Enough of thinking it’s nerdy or not-cool to recycle, RECYCLE NOW!