Amid the aroma of garbage that still perfumes the air around the Hiriya
Recycling Park, government officials and relevant executives laid the
cornerstone for a refusederived fuel plant that will eventually transform half
of the Dan region’s waste into usable fuel.
“This is a project that is
going to generate a whole revolution in the treatment of waste in the Dan area
and the whole of Israel,” said Gila Oron, head of the Tel Aviv region at the
The cornerstone-laying for the giant plant occurred on
Monday near its future site at the recycling park, during the First
International Waste Tech Conference, initiated by the park and Dan Municipal
Sanitation Association chairman Doron Sapir.
Aiming to provide solutions
to the waste problem in Israel, the refuse-derived fuel (RDF) plant will take in
daily 1,500 tons of high calorific waste – such as wood, plastic, textiles,
cardboard and paper – and transform them into a usable fuel through a dry
combustion process known as RDF, according to the project. This amount is
equivalent to half of the Dan region’s daily waste production.
Gush Dan region generates more than 1 million tons of waste per year, the
massive amounts of garbage undergoing the RDF process will be able to generate
green energy through a method that does not emit any pollutants or toxins, the
project’s leaders said.
At a cost of NIS 400 million, the plant is a
tripartite project being launched by Hiriya Recycling Park, Veolia Environment
and Nesher Israel Cement Enterprises.
“[The facility] is going to turn
some of [the garbage] into solid fuel, RDF, which will be used as a substitute
for oil products,” Oron said, noting that the fuel will in large part go to the
Nesher cement plant.
Despite the fact that the plant’s approval took two
years in the courts after receiving district committee approval in 2010, Oron
stressed that the Interior Ministry supports the construction of the project as
The establishment of the RDF facility embodies “the spirit
of the times in which the state has hoisted the banner of the environment,” she
“The project is joining the forces of the private and the
governmental sectors and produces another economic engine,” she said. “This
place does not belong to any municipality.”
The new facility will
encompass 21,000 square meters of land at the Hiriya Recycling Park site and
will be operational for 20 years, according to Philippe Abraham, director of
strategic planning at Veolia.
“That is diversion from landfills,” Abraham
said. “That’s something you need to be proud of.”
All in all, the RDF
plant will receive 540,000 tons of trash annually, making it the largest RDF
plant in all of the Middle East and one of the largest such facilities in the
world, according to Veolia.
Stressing the importance of using RDF as a
fuel in the Nesher factories, Amit Marmur, Nesher’s environmental affairs
manager, explained that using the fuel at the cement plants is both economically
viable and safe.
Using RDF is quite common in cement plants, due to the
fact that the cement kilns completely degrade any organic materials left in the
material, Marmur added.
“We have one planet, we have limited resources
and we are all responsible to manage them in an appropriate way,” he said. “We
are following in the footsteps of many other factories and communities that have
understood the value inherent in RDF.”
Nesher will be receiving 160,000
tons of RDF per year, which constitutes about 15 percent of the fuel usage in
the company’s cement factories.
At the cornerstone-laying ceremony,
Environmental Protection Minister Amir Peretz praised the companies behind the
future factory for bringing an effective end solution for waste to
“The process of waste separation at source is indeed beginning,
but the big test is the establishment of the end facilities,” Peretz
Explaining that the Environmental Protection Ministry has recently
invested a total of NIS 400m. in building such facilities across the country,
Peretz added that these plants “will be the completion of the environmental
Sapir, the chairman of the Dan Municipal Sanitation
Association, which administers the Hiriya garbage transfer and recycling sites,
said that he sees the launch of the future RDF facility as “an important moment”
for the State of Israel.
He noted that the site’s environmental education
center receives visitors from all around the world.
together are proof that the Hiriya Recycling Park is nearing the completion of
the green revolution that we are promoting,” Sapir added.
“This is proof
that it is possible to transform garbage to gold and to transform waste from a
nuisance into a resource.”