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Frem: Cheating was obvious in prices
that were supposed to be lower
The Council of Ministers annulled, during an exclusive session held at City Hall today, the results of the waste tender announced yesterday.
“We didn’t approve the tenders because the prices offered were too high,” said Minister of Labor Sejaan Azzi. “The terms of reference should be modified and companies should study and submit their bids again,” he said. The Government considered the prices to have been higher than Sukleen’s.
Prices submitted yesterday by bidding companies ranged between $151 and $218 per ton of waste. But according to Neemat Frem, President of Indevco Group, one of the co-bidders, these prices included waste collection, treatment, and land-filling, as well as sweeping. “If sweeping were excluded, prices would not exceed $123 for Butec-Indevco-Pizzorno,” he said. He said that Sukleen used to do waste collection, treatment, and land-filling, excluding sweeping at $150.
Waste companies do not include the price of sweeping with other prices as they measure it in kilometers and not in tons.
The Ministry of Environment announced yesterday the winning companies that will be in charge of waste treatment for each area, with the relevant price per ton of waste for each company. The announcement came after the meeting of the ministerial and technical committee mandated the study of available waste bids at the headquarters of the Council for Development and Reconstruction (CDR).
The purpose was to contain the waste crisis that began with the closing of the Naameh landfill on July 17, along with the Government’s termination of the contract with Sukleen. The deadlock resulted in the suffocation of the country with hills of waste plaguing the streets for weeks and leading to sit-ins in the last few days, which resulted in violence.
“The waste crisis is done on purpose and is used for political reasons to reach tenders limited to certain parties,” said Minister of Foreign Affairs, Gebran Bassil.
“All the bids are a process of stealing from public funds and everybody is part of it,” said a ‘You Stink’ statement yesterday.
Azzi said: “For the time being, the solution will be to collect the waste from the streets and to place it in a landfill on the eastern Lebanese-Syrian border.” He said that the Government is excluding the possibility of exporting waste as it has found local landfills.
Reported by Rania Ghanem
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Aug 25, 2015
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