Pollution Solution: Reem Haddad Reports on the Only Village in Lebanon with a Machine Which Can Make Compost from Organic Waste in Three Days [Kfar Sir, Lebanon]

By Haddad, Reem | New Internationalist, April 2000 | Go to article overview

Pollution Solution: Reem Haddad Reports on the Only Village in Lebanon with a Machine Which Can Make Compost from Organic Waste in Three Days [Kfar Sir, Lebanon]


Haddad, Reem, New Internationalist


Nobody is happier in the little southern village of Kfar Sir than its one and only police officer.

'I can take things easy now,' he tells me as he pulls up a chair and bids me sit down. It is around midday and he is having the sole of one of his shoes repaired at the cobbler's.

I have driven the two hours from Beirut because I heard that a village in south Lebanon had found a way to solve its waste problem.

Considering that the inhabitants live with the constant threat of Israeli shelling and air raids due to the fighting nearby between Hizbullah guerrillas and the Israeli army, their preoccupation with a composting machine is intriguing.

'Like all other villages, we used to burn our trash,' says the friendly police officer, now strolling comfortably in his newly repaired shoes as he leads me to the site of the old trash dump.

'The smoke was horrible, the smell was disgusting and flies were everywhere,' he says. 'I used to get 50 complaints a day and spent all my time soothing people. But I couldn't do anything about it.'

But now his worries are over. He introduces me to Mohammed Nisr, the mayor of Kfar Sir, who swells with pride on learning that I am in the village to hear about the composting machine.

'Mayors from all over the country are calling me or are coming to see for themselves what we have done here,' he says. 'Everybody is suffering from the waste problem because there is much construction here in Lebanon and we no longer have plots of land far away from people.'

Climbing into my car, the mayor guides me to the composting site. Here, a round drum, about ten metres long, rotates smoothly with conveyor belts on either side. Two workers sift through trash bags and remove nylons, plastics, aluminium, metal and cartons. The rest is duly placed on the input belt and is promptly devoured by the drum. …

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Pollution Solution: Reem Haddad Reports on the Only Village in Lebanon with a Machine Which Can Make Compost from Organic Waste in Three Days [Kfar Sir, Lebanon]
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