Industrial-waste management in developing countries: The case of Lebanon

M. El-Fadel, M. Zeinati, K. El-Jisr, D. Jamali

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    37 Scopus citations


    This paper presents a critical assessment of the existing Lebanese industrial sector, namely the current status and classification of industrial establishments based on a comparative synthesis and analysis of recent nationwide surveys and studies pertaining to industrial-waste management. Characterisation of solid and liquid industrial wastes generated, including hazardous wastes, is presented together with current and projected waste loads, recycling opportunities, and export/import practices. Institutional capacity and needs pertaining to the enforcement of relevant environmental legislation, staffing and resources, monitoring schemes, and public participation are critically evaluated. Finally, realistic options for industrial-waste management in the context of country-specific institutional economic and technical limitations are outlined. The industrial sector in Lebanon consists of small-scale industries (84% employ less than 10 persons), primarily involved in light manufacturing (96%). These industries which are distributed among 41 ill-defined zones and deficient in appropriate physical infrastructure, generate solid, liquid, and hazardous waste estimated at 346730 tons/year, 20 169 600 m3/year and between 3000 to 15 000 tons/year, respectively. Although the growth of this sector contributes significantly to the socio-economic development of the country (industry accounts for 17% of the gross domestic product), in the absence of a comprehensive environmental management plan, this expansion may not be sustained into the coming millennium. The anticipated expansion will inevitably amplify adverse environmental impacts associated with industrial activities due to rising waste volumes and improper waste handling and disposal practices. These impacts are further aggravated by a deficient institutional framework, a lack of adequate environmental laws, and lax enforcement of regulations governing industrial-waste management.

    Original languageBritish English
    Pages (from-to)281-300
    Number of pages20
    JournalJournal of Environmental Management
    Issue number4
    StatePublished - 2001


    • Developing countries
    • Industrial/hazardous-waste management
    • Institutional framework
    • Lebanon


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