The “Jabal al-Zbeleh,” the “mountain of garbage” managed by the Municipality of Saida, dates back to 1975, but grew substantially after 1982 when the dumpsite first received rubble and demolition waste from destroyed buildings following the Israeli invasion of Lebanon in that year, but has since received all kinds of waste from municipalities of the Saida district. It is situated on the southern shores of this coastal city, 200 meters away from urban, residential areas. Mohammad Sarji, an activist and member of the NGO Bahr Loubnan, who has long campaigned for the rehabilitation of the mountain directed a short movie  showing the mountain of Saida through the eyes of a 10 year old girl who lives near the mountain as well as the effects of this mountain on humans and the marine environment alike. Medical and Chemical wastes can be found in this dump. In November 2009, big amounts of medical waste  washed up on the beach of Saida after sliding from the dump. Moreover, Palestinian refugees from the nearby camp who make a living by scavenging for materials from the dump have witnessed the horrors  that can be found in the mountain, like full syringes, blood and flesh. Many cases of infection  and hospitalization were reported among the scavengers. Regular fires would erupt from the mountain due to the summer heat and the methane generated by the decomposition of waste, taking the fumes inside the city and exposing  the citizens to toxic air. In addition to the public health hazard this garbage dump poses, it has also been considered as the main cause of thinning fish catches in the region.Rehabilitation of the Saida dumpsite has for long been subject to intense political bickering. It even became a major campaign issue in the 2009 parliamentary elections between the two opposing parties in the city. After being approved on October 4, 2012, the Saida Dumpsite Rehabilitation Project was not short on controversy. It was reported  that the $20 million sum, put aside for the project as part of a larger Saudi grant received by Lebanon after the July 2006 Israeli war, went missing. With serious doubts being raised in regards to the use of state funds and lack of transparency in the Lebanese government.
The project, started with the installation of a seawall around the site back in 2009 and the closure of the site with the city’s waste going to a newly opened facility further south. And by mid 2013, construction works began  for the treatment of the waste and land reclamation with the rubble and demolition waste. The rest of the dump was turned into a sanitary landfill, lined with protective material and gas pipes. On April 21, 2016 , 3 years after the construction began, a 33,000 m2 park was opened on the reclaimed land, with plans for its expansion over the landfill site in 8 year-time once the material under it decomposes. Controversy  was also present when it came to the contractor’s practices as well as regarding the corruption of those in charge of the project. The park was not originally part of the project but was a way to quell the its detractors. The slogan “We made the mountain into a park” emerged as a catchy way to market the project.
And the project has been met with a lot of criticism  by the Bahr Loubnan NGO, stating that the land reclamation covered a long stretch of sandy beach. They also point out that the rest of the reclaimed land, will not be used for a park (450, 000 m2) and question who will be benefiting from this potentially lucrative beachfront real estate. They also claim that they presented the municipality with more cost-effective plans to recycle most of the trash in the mountain instead of barely sorting and putting the trash into land reclamation.