Beirut Arab University hosted a lecture for the Engineer Ziad Abi Chaker entitled "Zero Waste is Not Science Fiction", owing to the fact that Lebanon has been dealing with a waste crisis since 2015, and how we may achieve "zero waste" by recycling and using trash in the industrial realm.
The lecture was attended by the Minister of Culture, H.E. Mohammad Wissam Mortada, represented by Dr. Nizar Daher, the Chairman of the University’s Board of Trustees, Dr. Ammar Houri, the President of the University, Prof. Amr Galal El-Adawi, the Vice President for Medical Sciences, Prof. Essam Osman, the Secretary General of the University, Dr. Omar Houri, the Deans of the University, and a crowd of students and interested audience.
After the Lebanese national anthem, followed by the university’s anthem, Mrs. Zina Ariss, Director of Public Relations and Communications, introduced the lecturer Mr. Ziad Abi Chaker, saying, "Our crises in Lebanon do not end, and the most serious of them is their harm to public health first, the environment second, and civilization third. The worst part of the trash situation in our country, Lebanon, is that the government is not taking any action, despite the fact that there are solutions out there for those who have the expertise and the will to implement them.”
Mr. Ziad then said, “The title "Zero Waste" has become a necessity in our country today, where we are working on spreading awareness about how to recycle and treat waste. There are many communities that preach the so-called zero waste, this is not beyond our reach as Lebanese people, and it would be wrong to resort to burying or burning waste, instead, an infrastructure must be created to recycle it."
Furthermore , "Today, waste is not only household waste, either organic or not, but construction waste, medical and pharmaceutical waste, as well as electronic waste. The scope of what societies consume and throw away is now very large, and this is an issue that is no longer acceptable."
Mr. Abi Chaker continued, “Any plan that adopts the principle of zero waste separates these categories from each other, as it’s known very well that their treatment techniques are different and cannot be placed all within one factory, and the "zero waste" plan for household waste requires that it be transported without resorting to compaction, which prevents the mixing and breaking of what is dangerous with the rest of the existing materials, considering that plastic materials are of economic value because they last long and are not affected by natural factors, so they are recycled and converted into solid structures that use bases for installing solar panels, and sewage covers.”
Mr. Abi Chaker urged the establishment of waste sorting centers and encouraging citizens to do so in their homes, as these materials have high economic value and are able to provide job opportunities and solve the waste problem in Lebanon, and in return we must establish sorting plants instead of random landfills, which facilitates the conversion of organic materials into agricultural fertilizer, while recycling recyclable materials.
After the discussion between the attendees and Engineer Abi Chaker, Mr. Ziad gave Prof. El-Adawi, President of BAU, a glass jug that he had recycled from the August 4th port explosion. In return, Prof. El-Adawi gave Abi Chaker the University Medal as a sign of appreciation and loyalty.