Demonstrators and security forces scuffled outside the environment ministry in Beirut on Thursday after several civil society activists stormed the building to protest the authorities' failure to resolve the waste problem.
Anti-riot police pushed back “We Want Accountability” and “You Stink” protesters who called for more transparency on a plan to export Lebanon's garbage.
The protest was held after around 15 members of the two groups entered the Azarieh building in downtown Beirut and sat on the floor, clapping and shouting slogans against the authorities for failing to resolve the seven-month waste problem.
The 15 protesters were later arrested by police along with three demonstrators who intercepted the vehicle that was carrying the detainees outside the building. The eighteen activists were taken for questioning, according to an Internal Security Forces statement.
Two protesters and two policemen were injured in the scuffles, the ISF said.
Last month, the government approved the export of the garbage but the plan drew skepticism. And lately Holland’s Howa BV withdrew its proposal to accept the waste, keeping a single firm, Britain’s Chinook Urban Mining International.
Civil society activists stormed the ministry in September, asking for the resignation of the environment minister.
The waste crisis erupted in July when Lebanon's largest landfill in Naameh was shut down.