Establishing a roadmap for closing an open dumpsite for healthy communities and SLCP reduction - Tyre, Lebanon

Infographic on the dangers of open dumps
Ongoing
started:
2019

Landfills are the third-largest source of global anthropogenic methane. They also pose multiple threats to human health and the environment, due to inadequate removal and treatment of waste.  

In Tyre, Lebanon, the city generated an estimated 100,000 metric tons of waste per year in 2018. 9.5% of that amount was diverted from disposal by the informal recycling sector. Regular waste collection services in the city collect all generated waste remaining after informal sector diversion and deliver it to the Ain Baal Solid Waste Treatment Facility (SWTF) for processing, or directly to dumpsites for disposal. In 2018, approximately 82% of generated municipal solid waste, including processing rejects and unused compost from the Ain Baal SWTF, was disposed of in dumpsites operating in Tyre Caza. The reports suggest that there are no sanitary landfills that exist in the caza. 

This project is being conducted by the International Solid Waste Association’s (ISWA) Task Force on Closing Dumpsites alongside the CCAC’s Waste Initiative, with the intention to enable the city of Tyre, with the support of its regional and national governments, to move along waste hierarchy in a coordinated and cohesive manner to mitigate methane and black carbon emissions.

Objectives

Our Waste Initiative is working with international and local partners to deliver alternatives to existing waste management practices in the Middle East region. The activities from this project will set the foundation of a larger project to demonstrate steps required to successfully transition from uncontrolled dumping of waste to a managed sanitary landfill or other advanced sustainable waste management options.

What we're doing

This project is being carried out through five sub-activities.

  • Activity 1: The first activity consisted of site selection and identification. This activity involved consultations with the CCAC Waste Initiative partners to choose an appropriate site for the project. The criteria for selection of the site included governance and political interest, access to waste management data of the city as well as whether data and schematics for the particular site were available.  
  • Activity 2: The second activity involved the detailed assessment of the site including the area, type of waste being disposed of, volume, and existing waste management schemes or lack thereof in the area. The activity was divided into two subparts, first involving a desktop research/study and evaluation of the chosen site based on existing data and literature as well as consultations with the local officials and decision-makers; second, involving emissions quantification through modeling software. The deliverable of this activity will involve two reports – a site assessment report and an emissions quantification report. Recommendations, including alternative waste management scenarios and technological options, for the site/municipality will be formulated based on these two documents.  
  • Activity 3: Through the third activity, based on the recommendations and outcomes of activity 2, ISWA along with a communication consultant will develop a detailed project communication and dissemination strategy to inform the public of the status quo including the ill effects of open dumpsites on human health and the environment. Apart from this, the targeted communication strategy includes elements of what options the concerned municipality has for diverting waste from reaching the dumpsites in the first place. Stakeholders will be informed of existing problems/scenarios and what steps can be taken to move away from the status quo. The strategy elucidates what behavioral changes will be required for increasing source segregation of waste, achieving valorization of those wastes, and decreasing the amount of waste going to dumpsites. This will facilitate moving towards a sustainable waste management plan and assist the municipality in moving up the waste hierarchy. 
  • Activity 4: Within the fourth activity, CCAC and ISWA facilitated and conducted a capacity building and training workshop for the officials and decision-makers from the municipality where the selected site is located and relevant national government representatives. The workshop involved knowledge sharing with officials through a three-day program delivered by four ISWA experts. The workshop involved the exchange of information about improving waste management practices, necessary policy changes, and reducing SLCP emissions. The participants were given resources that can help them improve the management practices and reduce SLCP emissions through sustainable waste management practices. 
  • Activity 5: The final activity involves developing an action plan for the management of organic waste in the region of Tyre. As part of activity two, CCAC published the report on the Estimation of waste sector greenhouse gas emissions in Tyre Caza, Lebanon using the Solid Waste Emissions Estimation Tool. The study assessed the emission levels of multiple scenarios based on the alternatives presented in the Regional Waste Master Plan developed by the Office of the Minister of State for Administrative Reform (OMSAR). The baseline scenario considered that the mechanical biological treatment facility at Ain Baal was still operational, providing some stabilization of the organic fraction of waste that is generated in the Caza, and thereby minimizing the potential for GHG emissions to be generated from the decomposition of organic waste at open dumpsites.

Since March 2020 the Ain Baal Mechanical Biological Treatment (MBT) facility ceased operation due to contractual issues and conflict between the Union of Tyre Municipalities and the contracted operator of the facility. Therefore, during this time, without the minimum biological stabilization of the organic fraction at Ain Baal, there has been a significant increase in the amount of untreated organic waste being disposed of at open dumps, thereby significantly increasing the potential for CH4 generation in various dumpsites around the Caza. The objective of activity five is to estimate the impact that the closure of the treatment facility has had on the emissions generated in the region and to set up an action plan that can divert major sources of organic waste from ending up in dumpsites through source segregation and subsequently treating the organics.

Why we're doing this work

Uncontrolled dumps and landfills without landfill gas (LFG) collection are some of the largest sources of global anthropogenic methane. Black carbon emissions from open burning of wastes typically are the second-largest source of SLCP emissions at dumpsites after methane. In Tyre, Lebanon, the major portion of the municipal solid waste generated in the city is disposed of in dumpsites within the city. However, no sanitary landfills exist within Tyre, therefore, the unsanitary dumpsites may contribute to many health and environmental degradation issues in the city. 

Lead Partner: A Coalition partner with an active role in coordinating, monitoring and guiding the work of an initiative.

Implementer: A Coalition partner or actor receiving Coalition funds to implement an activity or initiative.

Partners (1)

Partners (1)

Resources & tools

Activity contact

Sandra Mazo-Nix ,
Municipal Solid Waste Initiative Coordinator
Sandra.Mazo-Nix [at] un.org

Initiatives

Pollutants (SLCP)

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