Garbage dumped in sea off Lebanon sparks outrage

A "mountain of garbage" dumped at sea off Beirut under a deal between the government and a company has sparked outrage in Lebanon, two years after mass protests over a waste crisis, AFP reported.

For the past 10 days, civil society groups have shared images of trucks carrying rubbish and tipping it into the Mediterranean, a process that is ongoing.

Activists say the waste from the "mountain of garbage" at Burj Hammoud in north Beirut is disposed of under an agreement between the government's Development and Reconstruction Council (CDR) and a private company.

"They are taking garbage from this mountain that has been there for 20 years... and throwing it into the sea," said Wadih al-Asmar, an activist from the "You Stink" campaign behind the protests in 2015.

Environment Minister Tarek al-Khatib on Tuesday confirmed the existence of an agreement between the CDR and a private firm to dump the waste at sea.

Khatib said he had sent letters to the CDR to "rectify" the situation and that he was trying to find the "best way to limit" the damage.

But activists vented their anger on social media, branding the situation "shameful".

Lebanon experienced a major waste crisis in mid-2015 that triggered mass protests, as garbage piled up in Beirut and its surroundings after the closure of the country's main landfill.

In 2016, the government decided to reopen the landfill and to create two more dumps.

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