29 Jan 2019
Tripoli, Lebanon
Resource efficiency and sustainable waste management

It all started when Salim Kabbara, angered by the site of Lebanon’s streets and beaches, decided to launch a small campaign for a beach clean-up in Tripoli, northwest of Lebanon. “He was accompanied by only three people,” Mouhamad Alameddine, Kabbara’s co-founder of Environmental Medics says.

Kabbara then made a habit out of these campaigns and in less than two months, it turned into a movement, on and off social media. “From July 2016 till this day we’ve conducted over 120 campaigns and activities evolved over the years and yet we’re still experimenting to reach an optimal result,”  Alameddine adds.

Environmental Medics were mainly concerned with the source of all garbage especially around beaches where they often come across broken glass, plastics and dirt. “We have mountains of trash bordering with the sea all along the Lebanese coast,” Alameddine says.

At that point, Alameddine and Kabbara came up with practical solutions to tackle the pressing issue. One of these solutions came in the shape of setting up garbage bins by part of the Lebanese coast. They made between 30-40 bins out of car tyres. “It took quite a bit to figure out how to make these bins sustainable especially that municipalities don’t play that role,” Alameddine says, adding that municipalities see that their role ends at the coast. “Anything to do with the sea or raising awareness itself do not fall under their responsibilities,” he adds.

Next comes disposing of the collected trash but before then, plastics are separated from the rest of the solid waste. “We managed to get in touch with an initiative where we can dispose of both plastics and paper to be transported to a laboratory to be treated and recycled,” Alameddine explains.

He also remarks that the trash is basically sold and the profit covers the labor fees.

“We target everyone to be part of Environmental Medics without exception. And we get contributions from individuals who want to offer us bags or resources to collect trash,” he says.

When they started, Environmental Medics didn’t have grants or funds to work with but with time, they have received enough to sustain the initiative.

“Through social media, we have reached media channels to spread our vision and we even had an outreach in Egypt,” Alameddine adds.

 

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Environmental Medics Resource efficiency & sustainable waste management
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