In accordance with best practices and Lebanese law, LCPS is publishing the following submission received from the offices of Sukleen S.A.L and Sukomi S.A.L in response to an article authored by Dr. Jad Chabaan and published by LCPS and The Daily Star on 16 September 2016, titled “One Year On, Lebanon’s Waste Management Policies Still Stink”. LCPS continues to have concerns over the process by which contracts have been awarded by the Lebanese government for waste management services. Additionally, LCPS firmly believes that government contracts should be made transparent and public, and that the Council of Ministers should take action to this end.
Statement issued by Sukleen S.A.L and Sukomi S.A.L
According to the laws that govern the right of reply, as stated in the decree law No. 104 dated June 30, 1977 and its amendment law 330 dated May 18, 1994, Sukleen S.A.L and Sukomi S.A.L would like to make the following clarifications pursuant to the article published on your website in September 2016, entitled “One Year On, Lebanon’s Waste Management Policies Still Stink”, and that includes misleading information and false accusations against our companies.
1. In line with Sukleen and Sukomi’s commitment to transparency, our doors have been and will always be open and we invite everyone who is interested to visit our facilities and have a better understanding of the reality of our work processes.
2. Sukleen and Sukomi have always abided by the Lebanese legislations and have always fully and positively cooperated, when asked, with the Lebanese Judiciary that we fully trust. Therefore, we would like to inform whom it may concern that Sukleen and Sukomi will not refrain from using their right to take legal action against any individual or entity issuing defamatory statements and/or information implying corruption and bribery, impairing our companies and the dignity of those who work for them.
3. Sukleen and Sukomi are private waste management companies that have never and will never get involved in any political activity hence our categorical rejection of the defamatory allegations your article referred to as “under the table practices” and “revenues channeled through kickbacks to political leaders to ensure smooth operations.” Sukleen and Sukomi have always indicated that they do not interfere in politics, and do not dictate nor influence the strategic approach of the Lebanese government and that of any politician or political party, and we reiterate the need for anyone seeking information related to the activity of our companies to contact our press office to have the right and accurate answers.
4. Regarding the false accusation that the price charged by Sukleen and Sukomi per ton of waste is “one of the highest in the world,” the void tender of August 2015, to which we have not applied, has clearly indicated that our prices are and have been lower than those of the five bidders at that time. And concerning the increase of the “collection and processing fees” mentioned in your article, we would like to clarify that this increase has been done as per contract and in strict alignment with the “revision formula” clause that relates to the services fees and their variation taking into consideration the minimum wage, the prices of oil and electricity.
5. All the sweeping, collection, transportation, sorting, composting, recycling and sanitary landfilling activities of Sukleen and Sukomi during all the years of service were strictly conform to the terms of the contracts signed with the Center of Development and Reconstruction representing the Lebanese government and were operated under the constant supervision of the CDR consultants and the independent auditors appointed by the Lebanese government.
And contrary to what your article claims about “Sukleen seeing its contract renewed without an open tender by the Council of Ministers,” we would like to make it clear once again that these contracts were awarded to Sukleen and Sukomi following an international competitive tendering process that was fully regulated and arbitrated by the Lebanese government. It is also important to mention that the multiple extensions of the contracts, and in the absence of a national waste management strategy, were governmental decisions that were communicated as directives to Sukleen and Sukomi.
6. While your article wrongly accuses Sukleen and Sukomi of “dumping the
waste in the Naameh landfill with minimal sorting and recycling,” we take this opportunity to confirm once again that the recycling and landfilling activities have been done with strict alignment to the terms of the contracts signed with the Lebanese government. However, and as a result of the inability of the government to avail the needed lots of lands to build the additional sorting and treatment plants as per the government emergency plan of 1997, Sukleen and Sukomi have initiated over the years, at their own cost and following an internal initiative a series of researches, experiments, tests and actual pilot projects to increase the amount of recyclables and reduce the quantities of waste that were being landfilled.
Our companies have also successfully completed detailed feasibility studies related to the implementation of the said solutions to solve the waste challenges faced in Lebanon. All those pilot projects and feasibility studies have been formerly detailed in statements of facts and factsheets that were published and are accessible on Sukleen and Sukomi website at the following link: http://sukleen.com/news.html