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Lebanese city turning stinky dump into family destination

The mountain of trash in the city of Sidon, Lebanon, is to become an inviting public park with olive trees and an amphitheater. (Omar Yashruti/PI /Landov)

Not long ago, the notorious “garbage mountain” in the Lebanese city of Sidon was so foul that locals would sneer that it could be smelled before seen.

Today, the dump is being transformed into a 100,000-square meter (25 acre) park with olive trees and an amphitheater, Maurice Picow reports for Green Prophet.

The project, to be completed in eight years, is spearheaded by the municipality with guidance from the United Nations Development Programme.  Sidon Mayor Mohamed al-Saudi was elected on a platform that included a pledge to remove the trash.

The site was used during Lebanon’s Civil War from 1975 to 1990 to dispose of debris caused by the bombing, the article says. Over the years, garbage trucks would dump refuse directly into the sea, prompting concerns about marine pollution and damage to historical sites.

With the dump relocated farther south, cleanup proponents see a bright future for this ancient city. But critics balk at a price tag that’s already reached $25 million and complain that a lengthy stretch of beach was damaged in the process.

Green Prophet

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