Dozens of Lebanese protesters have clashed with police in downtown Beirut over the country's months-long trash collection crisis.

The clash began after a group of protesters entered the environment ministry to stage a sit-in inside. The protest was timed to coincide with a Cabinet meeting to discuss the issue.

The latest initiative to solve the crisis — a proposal to export the waste temporarily, which was agreed on in December — has stalled because of disputes.

In Thursday's melee, some of the demonstrators protesting the lack of transparency in dealing with the issue were detained while others were beaten by baton-wielding riot police who chased them away.

The collection crisis erupted in July after authorities closed the primary landfill for Beirut and the surrounding coastal governorate without providing an alternative.