Industrialists: Give us the trash!. Sector to lose millions of dollars in case of trash export, incineration - Lebanon

Industrialists:
Give us the trash!
Sector to lose millions of dollars
in case of trash export, incineration
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The Association of Industrialists (ALI) said today that factories are the economic sector’s most harmed segment due to the export or incineration of waste. It called on the Government to adopt a comprehensive strategy that respects industrialists’ interests.

Representatives at ALI said that they used to buy sorted trash from Sukleen, the company that collected, sorted, and landfilled trash before July 17. Around 30 percent of the trash is recyclable and the resulting sorted material is then used to manufacture products.

Oussama Halbawi, owner of a recycled bottled water factory, said: “We used to pay Sukleen $2 million a year to give us 4,000 tons of water bottles, which we recycled and sold to Denmark for $5 million.”

Halbawi is worried that since the company has stopped receiving sorted bottles, his factory would shut down and 70 employees would be sent home.

Environment Minister Mohammad Machnouk said in the past week that the ministry is seriously considering exporting the trash to Germany, France, or Sweden. Fadi Gemayel, Chairman of ALI, said: “We reject the ministry’s proposal to incinerate all the wastes, which largely include raw material used by factories who are a main constituent of the economy, especially paper, carton, plastic, glass, and metal factories.”

There are more than 500 factories that use sorted plastic, according to Halbawi. Other factories that use sorted cartons and glass are also in jeopardy.

“Carton and paper factories will be drastically harmed by the trash export decision,” said Ziad Bekdache, Vice President of ALI and chairman of the Oriental Paper Products (OPP). His factory sorts paper waste and sends it to carton factories that recycle it back to paper.
Reported by Yassmine Alieh
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Date Posted: Aug 06, 2015