CSP’s Support to Waste Management in Bechmizzine Increases Recyclables Collection by 52% Across 20 Villages in Koura
Koura district in North Lebanon is home to 88,000 Lebanese, and 15,000 refugees. The closure of a local landfill site in 2019 and the devaluation of the national currency reduced the capacities of many villages in the district to collect and manage solid waste. This has fueled tensions among residents due to increased waste accumulation, dumping in illegal sites, and garbage burning. In response, the USAID-funded Community Support Program (CSP) assisted the Bechmizzine Material Recovery Facility (BMRF) to design and implement a sustainable recyclables recovery model that aims at improving the collection, capacity, operations, and revenue of the facility, while reducing municipal waste management costs in neighboring communities. CSP’s assistance included rehabilitating the BMRF and providing it with a backup generator, plastic crusher, weighing scale, and two balers to expand its ability to receive, process, and sell recyclables collected from more than 20 villages. In parallel, CSP supported the 20 communities to establish recyclables collection points and provided recyclable bins/containers across the district. To ensure the sustainability of this intervention, CSP strengthened BMRF’s institutional capacity and trained workers on the operation and maintenance of the provided equipment and on safe recyclables collection. Furthermore, and in collaboration with local NGO Terre Liban, CSP conducted intensive awareness raising sessions in 14 Koura villages to promote sustainable waste management practices and improved sorting-from-source among communities. In October 2022, CSP also assigned an intern through its internship program to regularly monitor BMRF’s operations, provide guidance on safety measures and equipment maintenance, ensure proper financial documentation, optimize truck routes, and track workflow to ensure transparency and efficiency. By May 2023, this holistic intervention had enabled the BMRF to increase its recyclables collection by more than 52% in eight months (8,114 kg in Oct 2022 compared to 12,350 kg in May 2023), all while improving recyclables recovery for 44,220 Lebanese residents and 7,866 refugees.
“The USAID-provided equipment to the BMRF, paralleled with technical trainings, institutional support, and awareness raising sessions, doubled the recyclables collection rate and enabled us to hire more workers to meet operational needs”, stated Fawzi Kalash, Mayor of Bechmizzine.