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Environmentally Appropriate Rural Technologies (EARTH) Initiative (2003 - 2006)

The EARTH Initiative is a three-year, USAID funded program begun in July 2003 to address the unsanitary disposal of municipal waste and wastewater.
Through the EARTH-Zahleh Initiative (The amount of the Cooperative Agreement between CHF and USAID is around $3.2million), CHF is improving and expanding the existing waste management facility in Zahleh (comprising a small sorting facility, sanitary landfill and leachate evaporation pond) to manage the excessive loads of incoming municipal waste and the increasing amounts of leachate generated from the landfill, thus reducing the risk of leachate overflow and consequent pollution, especially with the presence of an elevated water table and important water resources in the area. The EARTH-Zahleh Initiative also includes constructing a leachate treatment plant, a new sorting facility, a windrow composting plant (for green and organic waste), and a warehouse for garbage collection vehicles, in addition to procuring shredder equipment for the management of disposed tires. The program is also coupled with awareness campaigns. Around 200,000 people from 16 villages in Zahleh are expected to benefit from the program. The number of benefiting villages could grow gradually to 26 after the completion of the program.