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On the outskirts of the Lebanese capital, mountains of putrid garbage are rising and tempers are flaring as a months-old rubbish collection crisis shows no signs of being resolved. Desperate Beirut has taken to dumping its rubbish in huge makeshift piles, with the largest – in Karantina at the northern entrance of the city – neighbouring the trendy nightlife areas of Mar Mikhael and Gemmayzeh. “I’ve almost lost my sense of smell,” a firm’s supervisor said, adding that several employees had suffered bouts of “throwing up, diarrhoea and stomach pains”. Garbage mountains have also sprouted on both sides of the highway leading north out of Beirut, as well as under its bridges and near the already polluted coast.

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