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.

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.

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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.

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Street cleaners in Beirut on July 27, 2015.

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A woman in Beirut on July 23, 2015.