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Msg. Luigi Gatti, Apostolic Nuncio in Lebanon, Visits Khirbit Silim Plant
On April 15 2005, the Apostolic Nuncio in Lebanon, Monsignor Luigi Gatti paid a visit to the Khirbit Silim Material Recovery Facility along with a delegation from the Pontifical Mission in Lebanon headed by Mr. Issam Bechara.
The Nuncio was greeted by the municipality president Mr. Ahmad Majed and the group toured the plant and listened to the explanations of Mr. Ziad Abichaker of Cedar Environmental who designed, built and currently operates the Khirbit Silim plant.
Monsignor Gatti was particularly interested in the point of view of Mr. Majed who explained that the recycling plant was erected on the location of the old waste dump of the village which had reached catastrophic environmental proportions by being constantly on fire and its fumes were a major nuisance to nearby habitats. Mr. Majed pointed that several villagers had asked the municipality for building permits on their parcels nearby the plant, a fact which was unheard of during the open dump period and is a testimony to the odor control of the composting facility of Khirbit Silim which enabled local villagers to build new homes at a distance of 150 meters from the facility.
It should be noted that the Khirbit Silim recycling facility has been in operation since September 2002 and had not missed a single day of operation. The municipality has recently been awarded a grant by the European Union to acquire a new garbage collection truck, garbage bins, and several machines for processing recyclables after sorting.