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There Is A Giant, Rancid River Of Uncollected Trash Flowing Through Beirut

The stench is reportedly "toxic." The issue began in July 2015, but resurfaced last week in the Lebanese capital.

Posted on February 24, 2016, at 11:44 a.m. ET

Hasan Shaaban / Reuters

Beirut, Lebanon, on Feb. 23, 2016.

Garbage bags amassed in the capital of Lebanon have begun to resemble a river flowing through the city.

Beirut residents have been embroiled in a garbage overflow problem for months, which you can see from these photos stretching back to July 2015. The issue stemmed from competing government factions who were unable to reach a decision on how to work around the closure of the city's primary landfill site, Naameh.

A defunct collection facility, combined with heavy rainfall in the area, caused massive amounts of uncollected trash to flow into the streets of Beirut, bringing with it a stench so unpalatable that some have called it toxic.

Demonstrations led by activist groups like You Stink ensued, and while a waste management site eventually cleared the streets of its trash last July, the problem does not appear to have been completely solved.

Mohamed Azakir / Reuters

A port in Beirut, Lebanon, on Feb. 19, 2016.

Hasan Shaaban / Reuters

Beirut, Lebanon, on Feb. 23, 2016.

Mohamed Azakir / Reuters

Garbage pile near a port in Beirut on Feb. 19, 2016.

Joseph Eid / Getty Images

Near the Lebanese capital in Beirut, on Jan. 5, 2016.

Patrick Baz / Getty Images

Jdeideh, a city northeast of Beirut, on Dec. 31, 2015.

Bilal Hussein / AP Photo

Karantina, Lebanon, on Dec. 17, 2015.

Aziz Taher / Reuters

Protesters in Beirut on Nov. 22, 2015.

Mohamed Azakir / Reuters

Beirut, Sept. 23, 2015.

Mohamed Azakir / Reuters

Residents in Beirut on Aug. 26, 2015.

Joseph Eid / Getty Images

Street cleaners in Beirut on July 27, 2015.

Joseph Eid / Getty Images

A woman in Beirut on July 23, 2015.

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