Med4Waste: Deir Qanoun ElNaher Municipality is working to become more circular and sustainable
The local government of Deir Qanoun ElNaher, a town in the Tyre area, south of Lebanon, has made efforts in recent years to achieve a more sustainable system for managing its own urban waste. The municipality implemented a source-sorting system in 2019, which has resulted in 70-80% of residents committing to sorting their waste. The system consists of two bins for sorting solid waste and allows the municipality to cover the costs of the only 3 employees working in the facility responsible for secondary source separation. The high rate of engagement is one of the strengths of the village, a community with impressive participation rates.
However, the pressure on the community and the municipality is increasing and can give the feeling that their efforts are not sufficient. With the support of the Med4Waste mentoring scheme, the local government will be able to learn from experiences in similar cities and receive expert advice on how to develop a new Integrated Waste Management Plan.
In addition, one of the problems they face is that despite the pioneering solid waste management system in place in the area, there are nearby government waste management facilities that do not function properly. As a result, some of the nearby villages collect waste and take it to the city, and the Deir Qanoun ElNaher system is not yet robust enough to absorb all the waste generated in the neighbouring municipalities. Some of these municipalities are currently burning their waste, causing unpleasant odours for the Deir Qanoun ElNaher citizens.
The future plan is expected to include a new system to better manage recyclable materials and organic waste. This should be a starting point to increase the circularity of the current system and improve the waste management model, making it more efficient. It would also alleviate pressure on the current landfill sites in the area, helping to address one of the main local environmental concerns.
The Med4Waste mentoring programme could potentially benefit Deir Qanoun ElNaher by providing technical expertise and guidance to help address challenges and potential opportunities for improvement, just as it is also doing in the Lebanese town of Akkar Al-Atikka and 4 other towns from Jordan and Tunisia. This partnership will include experts’ consultations, city twining, and field visits to similar pilot experiences of some projects previously funded under ENI CBC Med programme in the field of waste management, like MED-InA or REUSEMED.