The Daily Star has reported that Britain’s Chinook Urban Mining International has obtained Russia’s approval to take in Lebanon’s trash, head of the Council for Development and Reconstruction Nabil al-Jisr told the media Friday.
Jisr said the CDR would thoroughly examine the firm’s file Tuesday before referring it to the Cabinet.
“Chinook filed a number of documents and we will process and verify them before signing the contract,” he added.
The deal does not cover waste older than 45 days, which must be sorted in order to meet international waste trade regulations.
Chinook told the CDR that the garbage sent to Russia would be incinerated. French waste recovery firm Séché has told the CDR it is possible to treat a substantial portion of the country’s older waste.
The company is expected to submit a detailed cost and methods report to CDR next week, Jisr told The Daily Star.
As it stands, officials project the trash export scheme to cost the state $200 million, at a price of $212 per ton, over its 18-month-long duration. But the figure does not factor in the cost of treating the older waste, and many in the waste sector have said they expect the true price to be much higher.
The Cabinet approved the scheme in December as a way out of a ruinous garbage collection crisis that has seen trash pile up in valleys and populated areas across Mount Lebanon and Beirut since July.
But the decision was widely panned for its opacity and exorbitant cost. Ministers selected Chinook and a Dutch firm to manage the work without posting a tender for public bids. The Dutch firm has since halted its participation in the scheme.
The Association of Lebanese Industrialists said in a statement Friday that Lebanese facilities have the capacity to process most of the country’s waste.