After piling up for more than 10 days, waste collection has finally resumed in parts of Beirut, local media outlets are reporting Friday. But it doesn't look like the trash talk will end anytime soon, as the government is struggling to find a long-term solution for the Lebanese city's waste management dilemma, and residents are not pleased.
Lebanon's main landfill in Naameh had reached capacity, and was scheduled for closure on July 17. But the country's government failed to find a substitute, and as there was nowhere for it to go, garbage collection was halted. As of Friday, an emergency plan has reportedly allowed a company to move trash off the streets and gather it in Karantina.
Over the past days, sanitation workers had sprayed white powder on the estimated 22,000 pounds of trash that had accumulated in an effort to mitigate the stench and spread of pests.
Soon, Lebanon's residents started a social media campaign targeting government politicians with #YouStink and led protests near parliament to highlight the garbage crisis.
After postponing an initial decision, the government announced Monday night it had reached an agreement on measures working towards ending the crisis. This included garbage pickup, distribution, compensation to areas that receive the waste, and a promise to construct trash incinerators over the next month as a more long-term solution. But more confusion and disagreement resulted after it became unclear what decisions had been made by ministers. On Tuesday, activists began calling for the government to resign.
The waste crisis resulted in overflowing dumpsters mounds of trash lining the streets as many residents took to wearing masks to alleviate the overwhelming stench.
Related: Watch the Vice News documentary on Lebanon's fight against ISIS here.