Contractors collecting and sweeping garbage waste in Beirut have been suffering for more than two years, from devaluation and the lifting of fuel subsidies. Coronavirus pandemic, which was accompanied with lockdowns, have left positive and negative repercussions on the company. It also impacted citizens positively because it reduced the percentage of wastes by 40 percent, but this reality afflicted the companies negatively because trash is priced based on its weight.
However, the total lifting of fuel subsidies impacted the company’s operations negatively. Sawt Beirut International has been informed that “Ramco” and “City Blue” has decided to halt operations if their demands were not met and if immediate solutions were not found to the financial deficit that the two companies suffer from.
According SBI’s information, Ramco, which collects and sweeps waste in Beirut, has informed Governor Marwan Abboud of its intention to stop operations during the next few days, due to its inability to continue amid the national currency’s collapse, and the high cost of collecting and sweeping waste. It is worth noting that Ramco’s cost for each ton of waste, is $47, and this amount exceeds Beirut Municipality’s ability. This reality has pushed Abboud to contact Prime Minister Najib Mikati to discuss the crisis and its dangerous repercussions.
An emergency meeting was held between Ramco, City Blue, and the Council for Development and Reconstruction, to discuss the possibility of helping the two companies and meeting their demands to prevent a trash crisis in Lebanon.
According to SBI’s information, the meeting discussed ways to help the two companies to be able to continue to work. Mikati has assigned a committee that includes 11 ministers to discuss the repercussions of inflation on the public sector, and asked them to convene as soon as possible to discuss securing compensation for the two companies after the rise in dollar exchange rate and diesel. The committee will be asked to submit the proposal to the Council of Ministers for approval, but this would take a long time due to administrative routine in governmental institutions.