While the scale of the current garbage crisis scourging Beirut is unprecedented, the phenomenon of protracted waste management problems is certainly not—a fact that seems to have escaped the abundant commentaries on the present crisis. Yet, commentators and protesters alike have much to learn from the lessons of previous crises. In particular, the demonstrators that now rightfully link Beirut’s trash management problems to the erosion of state and citizenship would do well to take into account the experiences of non-citizens dealing with the governance dynamics of waste predicaments.


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