Launching of Rehabilitation Works of Karantina Sorting Facility

April 5, 2024

Beirut, Friday April 5, 2024: The rehabilitation of the Karantina Sorting Facility (KSF) will soon commence and is expected to be completed in 12 months to effectively serve Beirut City and the Matn Caza. The facility had been severely damaged and rendered completely out of service following the Port of Beirut explosion. Its rehabilitation is undertaken under the Beirut Critical Environment Recovery, Restoration, and Waste Management Program, implemented by UNDP and financed by the Lebanon Financing Facility (LFF)—a multi-donor trust fund administered by the World Bank. 

The announcement was made at an event organized by the Ministry of Environment and UNDP  in Mer'ab-Karantina, in the presence of H.E. the Minister of Environment, Dr. Nasser Yassin, Beirut Governor Judge Marwan Abboud, representatives of donors of the Lebanon Financing Facility (LFF), Mr. Jean-Christophe Carret, World Bank Country Director for the Middle East Department, and Ms. Elina Silen, representing the Resident Representative at UNDP, alongside members of parliament and other distinguished guests. Following the opening remarks and a presentation of the project, attendees visited the rehabilitation site of Karantina Sorting Facility to examine the extent of the damages before the commencement of the works.

Following the Port of Beirut explosion on 4 August 2020, the Karantina Solid Waste Sorting Facility and the Coral Composting Facility in Borj Hammoud area, which are an integral part of the solid waste management system for Beirut and its surroundings were significantly damaged.   As a result, both facilities have not been operational since then and all the waste generated in Beirut, the Matn Caza and Kesrouan Caza now go directly to the Jdeideh sanitary landfill, without any sorting or treatment. This is leading to large quantity of waste being disposed in the landfill which will reach its capacity much faster than originally planned.  

Rehabilitating these facilities is crucial so that the waste is sorted and recycled, ensuring sound environmental practices and reducing the amount of waste going to landfills. 

Upon completion of rehabilitation the works, the Karantina facility will have a capacity to sort 1,000 tons of solid waste per day, which is equivalent to the total quantity of waste currently generated in Beirut and Matn Caza. The sorting facility is an important step for adopting an integrated solid waste management system in Beirut and Matn Caza, which will be established based on a comprehensive Solid Waste Master Plan under preparation.

In his speech, H.E. Dr. Nasser Yassine, Minister of Environment of Lebanon, emphasized the significance of launching the rehabilitation works of the sorting facility in Karantina. “This facility”, he said, “will accommodate the sorting of 1000 tons of waste per day from the city of Beirut and the Metn district, marking a crucial milestone in integrated solid waste management in Beirut”. Dr. Yassine highlighted that this project aligns with a new guideline for waste management in the capital, developed in collaboration with the municipality, explaining that this plan “will also include the construction and equipment of 8 or 9 collection centers distributed in Beirut neighborhoods as well as the rehabilitation of the composting plant in Borj Hammoud."

He affirmed: “Beirut deserves every effort, as it is the capital, the economic and educational center, and an incubator for everyone. Beirut deserves to be the cleanest, greenest and most sustainable city."
Judge Marwan Abboud, Governor of Beirut, emphasized the importance of source sorting and integrated waste management, stating that this project is "a vital and essential initiative for the city of Beirut to avoid the environmental issues that result from the accumulation of waste," and warned of the danger of accumulating waste in landfills at an accelerated pace.

“The rehabilitation of the Karantina Waste Facility responds to a real challenge the solid waste sector is facing”, said Jean-Christophe Carret, World Bank Country Director for the Middle East Department. “Given the scarcity of land in Lebanon, it is critical to reduce waste going to landfills and adopt a circular economy approach starting with sorting of the waste and ensuring adherence of the people to the principles of integrated waste management.”

Elina Silen, representing the Resident Representative at UNDP, expressed hope that "the rehabilitation of Karantina sorting facility can be completed quickly so that it can support improvement of solid waste management scenario in Beirut." She emphasized the importance of coupling rehabilitation efforts with sector reforms, governance improvements, and cost recovery initiatives to address the waste crisis effectively.

About the Lebanon Financing Facility (LFF): 

Established in December 2020 in the aftermath of the August 4 Port of Beirut explosion disaster and following the launch of the Reform, Recovery and Reconstruction Framework (3RF), the LFF is a 5 year multi-donor trust fund that pools grant resources and strengthens the coherence and coordination of financing in support of the immediate socio-economic recovery of vulnerable people and businesses impacted by the explosion. To date, the LFF has received contributions and pledges from the governments of Canada, Denmark, France, Germany, and Norway and from the EU. Subject to the commitment of all Lebanese stakeholders to critical reforms, the LFF will build the foundation for medium-term recovery and the sustainable reconstruction of the Port of Beirut and affected neighborhoods. The LFF prioritizes three focus areas of interventions: 1) Socioeconomic and business recovery; 2) Preparing for reform and reconstruction; and 3) Strengthening coordination, monitoring, accountability and oversight of the 3RF. The LFF benefits from the World Bank’s high fiduciary standards, through the application of its fiduciary framework for financial management, procurement, and environmental and social safeguards. The LLF also ensures that programs promote gender equality and community engagement that target women, youth and vulnerable populations.

About UNDP:

UNDP is working in Lebanon since 1986 as a development partner supporting economic recovery, including working with municipalities to deliver basic services to host communities, promoting clean energy and solid waste management, strengthening governance and rule of law, providing support to elections, and working on empowering women and youth.

For more information, please contact:
In UNDP    Maryam Sweid | | +961 71 366212