USAID Partners with Municipalities to Improve Solid Waste Management

The Diverting Waste by Encouraging Reuse and Recycling (DAWERR) $15 million activity, funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and implemented by ECODIT, concluded Memoranda of Understanding (MOU) with seven municipalities to improve solid waste management (SWM) through a set of pilot interventions. The MOU signatories included the mayors of the municipalities of Batloun, Baskinta, Chanay, Majdel Baana, Jezzine, Qaraoun, and Rachaya El Wadi, as well as ECODIT President Joseph Karam. DAWERR and its partners committed to develop sustainable processes for composting organic waste and to improve existing recycling efforts. They will soon form Municipal Solid Waste Management Committees (MSWMCs) to support the municipalities in implementing the pilot projects.

The MOU signing ceremony was held in the presence of USAID Lebanon’s Local Development Office Director, Claude Zullo; and Program Development Specialist, Sana Saliba, along with ECODIT’s partners Berytech, Compost Baladi, and ECODIT Liban.  

In his remarks, Mr. Zullo stated, “The partnerships established here today represent the first steps to encouraging better stewardship of Lebanon’s environment, while generating much-needed income to support other essential municipal services. In fact, we hope that the recycling and composting efforts launched by these leaders today will serve as a model and inspiration for other leaders and other communities in Lebanon over the life of the program and into the future.

DAWERR is a five-year activity designed to improve the social, environmental, and economic well-being of Lebanese citizens through sustainable solid waste recovery and diversion programs with municipal unions, and/or clusters of municipalities throughout rural areas. DAWERR promotes the reuse, recycling, and monetization of solid waste as a sustainable way to reduce landfill use. Participating municipalities are selected through a rigorous evaluation and selection process. These municipalities, along with their communities and their partners (e.g., non-governmental organizations, social enterprises, private sector entities) will receive tailored technical, financial, and business support to design, implement, and manage the pilots. Eventually, DAWERR will replicate successful pilots and expand Integrated SWM solutions into other municipal unions.

By the project’s end in 2025, DAWERR anticipates improving the quality of life for 300,000 people served by sustainable SWM systems in 18 municipalities and three unions of municipalities. The project will also establish 40 public private partnerships to support improved SWM, create 100 sustainable full-time equivalent jobs in the recycling value chains, and generate additional financial returns from composting and recycling.

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