Fresh air and green areas for Saida citizens

Lebanon_Environment
undp lebanon - before & during rehabilitation

“Almost ninety percent of the garbage mountain is now gone, due to the process of rehabilitating the dumpsite area, and the remaining 10% will be done in 1 month.” says Nicolas Gharib, UNDP Project Manager of The Rehabilitation of Saida Dumpsite Project. “I can estimate that around 50% of the whole project has been accomplished since the work began in 2013”, he added.

Highlights

  • The Saida dumpsite, being in use since 1982, contained approximately 1.5 million m³ of waste covering a surface area of around 6 hectares.
  • The landfill will be re-opened, compacted, topped with a layer of agricultural soil to be transformed into a public park (area 6.5ha) accessible to the public

The Saida dumpsite, being in use since 1982, contained approximately 1.5 million m³ of waste covering a surface area of around 6 hectares. Its maximum height was approximately 58 m. It has received approximately 300 tons of fresh waste per day. The dumpsite contained construction/demolition waste, biodegradable municipal waste. It furthermore enclosed industrial waste, clinical waste, slaughterhouse waste, green waste, tanneries waste, tires, and hazardous waste.The mountain has grown steadily for more than 30 years, and city residents, tourists and environmentalists say it is a growing source of frustration to them. One could already smell it before laying eyes on it. The site has caused a catalog of environmental disasters and fires over the years, severely damaging the city’s development progress. This is the garbage mountain of which so much has already been reported as well as calls for action from government officials, philanthropic organizations and the private sector.

In fact, the municipality of Saida approached UNDP to find a solution that rids the city of the garbage mountain and transform it from a disgusting eyesore into a public garden/park for the inhabitants, and Saida is now just few steps away from fulfilling a longstanding dream: Getting rid of its suffocating and toxic dumpsite.

“The process of rehabilitation consists firstly of degasification in order to avoid any fires, explosions, etc. while dealing with the waste. Subsequently, the waste is excavated and moved to the sorting facility to separate organics from inert materials. The organics (active components) are readily transported to the constructed sanitary landfill cells, while the inert material (after undergoing the lab analysis to confirm the absence of any pollutants) is piled on site to be used later as fill material. The sanitary landfill itself is composed of: three cells perfectly isolated with geomembrane liner, leachate collection system, and gas collection network. Once the three cells are filled with organic waste, the landfill will be covered, capped, and monitored with continuous leachate and gas extraction. This process should take 7-10 years until the complete biodegradation of the organics. Then the landfill will be re-opened, compacted, topped with a layer of agricultural soil to be transformed into a public park (area 6.5ha) accessible to the public; In addition to the public park (3.4ha) which will be delivered and made accessible to the public by the end of the project, i.e., end of year 2015, which makes a total of around 10ha of green area” says Gharib.