This is the scene in Beirut, Lebanon’s capital, as a dispute over waste management policy in the halls of government has managed to spill over into the streets, leaving piles of garbage to accumulate.

This is the scene in Beirut, Lebanon's capital, as a dispute over waste management policy in the halls of government has managed to spill over into the streets, leaving piles of garbage to accumulate.

Jamal Saidi / Reuters

At issue is Naameh landfill, to Beirut’s south, the country’s largest landfill. It was scheduled to close last week with no alternative designated. When the closure didn’t happen as scheduled, its neighbors began to block trucks’ pathsinto the dump.

At issue is Naameh landfill, to Beirut's south, the country's largest landfill. It was scheduled to close last week with no alternative designated. When the closure didn't happen as scheduled, its neighbors began to block trucks' paths into the dump.

Aziz Taher / Reuters

Normally, a landfill closure wouldn’t become the disaster that this has, but Lebanon’s government is notorious for its gridlock, a byproduct of competing factions for power among politicians representing Sunni, Shiite, Druze, and Christian power bases.

Normally, a landfill closure wouldn't become the disaster that this has, but Lebanon's government is notorious for its gridlock, a byproduct of competing factions for power among politicians representing Sunni, Shiite, Druze, and Christian power bases.

Hassan Ammar / AP

So when the Lebanese Cabinet met on Thursday to discuss the matter, no solution could be found, leaving the body to push off a decision to next Tuesday.

So when the Lebanese Cabinet met on Thursday to discuss the matter, no solution could be found, leaving the body to push off a decision to next Tuesday.

Hassan Ammar / AP

Meanwhile, the trash continues to pile up.

Meanwhile, the trash continues to pile up.

Bilal Hussein / AP

“Environment Minister Mohammad Machnouk estimated the amount of trash currently on the streets to be at 22,000 tons,” the Associated Press reports.That’s equal to about 110 blue whales — or 60 pounds of trash per Beirut’s roughly 330,000 inhabitants.

"Environment Minister Mohammad Machnouk estimated the amount of trash currently on the streets to be at 22,000 tons," the Associated Press reports. That's equal to about 110 blue whales — or 60 pounds of trash per Beirut's roughly 330,000 inhabitants.

Hassan Ammar / AP

And making matters worse, the company that had been doing the hauling — Sukleen — had its contract expire alongside the dump’s closure.

And making matters worse, the company that had been doing the hauling — Sukleen — had its contract expire alongside the dump's closure.

Bilal Hussein / AP

So they’re sweeping the streets and spraying the mounds of trash with pesticides. But not carrying it away.

So they're sweeping the streets and spraying the mounds of trash with pesticides. But not carrying it away.

Bilal Hussein / AP

The situation is starting to get pretty dire, as residents have taken to setting the piles of refuse aflame. You know. The piles with the chemicals sprayed on them.

Which, frankly, seems more than a little unsafe.

It remains to be seen just how bad the problem gets before the Cabinet meets again next week.

It remains to be seen just how bad the problem gets before the Cabinet meets again next week.