If you’ve been in Lebanon for the last couple of weeks, you probably got to witness the garbage crisis that has taken over the country – or you got to smell it at the very least. To summarize the garbage crisis for those who don’t know: on July 17th, the government’s contract with Sukleen expired; it had stated that all garbage collected from Beirut and Mount Lebanon was to be transported to the Naameh landfill. After the expiration, garbage started piling up everywhere because our beloved government had not been looking for alternatives before the contract came to an end.

One of the most shocking things about this whole crisis was the sheer amount of garbage that we managed to produce in just a couple of days; mountains and hills of garbage were scattered everywhere: in front of universities, restaurants, and on busy streets. And though Sukleen is back to work, they have been shamefully dumping all the garbage under bridges and on remote mountains due to the absence of an alternative.

Our best and only bet for a long-term solution is recycling, something that is not a popular practice in Lebanon. But Uber has decided to make things a whole lot easier for us by teaming up with Live Love Beirut and Advanced Car Rental in a brilliant recycling initiative: vans will pass by to collect on-demand recyclable waste via Uber, for one full week, for FREE! All material collected will be delivered to Arcenciel who will handle the recycling process.

Here’s how it will works in four simple steps:

1) Sort out your trash in bags: blue for plastic, black for paper and cardboard, and any other color for metals.
2) Open up your Uber app between 3pm and 8pm from July 29 - August 4.
3) Select the 'UberRECYCLE' option
4) A van will pass by to collect your bags for FREE!

As of next week, you will be able to deposit your waste directly at Arcenciel.

Now that Uber has made it so easy for all of us to start recycling, we have no excuse not to. It is easy to complain about the lack of waste-management, but it’s more efficient for us to take matters into our own hands. Can it get any better? Yes, it can. Arcenciel uses profits from the sale of the recyclable materials to finance charitable actions like giving handicapped people wheelchairs. So let’s all start recycling!

[Images via here and here.]

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