The Environmental Protection Ministry will be allocating NIS 70 million toward the establishment of green energy generation facilities that transform garbage into useable electricity, the ministry announced on Wednesday.

This week, ministry officials turned to industry developers, informing them that they would be offering this financial support toward building such facilities within three years time, a ministry statement said. The facilities will house advanced mechanisms in which anaerobic digestive facilities are at work, breaking down food residues into organic waste.

During the decomposition process, the bacteria will release gases that can be used to generate electricity, the ministry explained.

Production of energy in this manner reduces pollution from power plant activities and prevents land burial of many tons of waste.

Moreover, increasing the presence of such garbage-to-energy transformation facilities will also allow for a significant increase in the amount of residents separating waste – putting organic and inorganic trash into different bins for collection – at home, according to the ministry.

“Therefore waste is transformed from a burden into a resource of economic value,” the ministry said.

Around the country, about 74,520 families are already separating their waste at home into organic and non-organic piles on a daily basis. Meanwhile, the ministry has invested a total of about NIS 1 million to catalyze Israel’s recycling market, encouraging the establishment of recycling facilities, incentives for local authorities, education and other initiatives. The ministry has also created a master plan for waste treatment facilities in cooperation with the Interior Ministry, aiming to shorten the planning process and facilitate the construction of these facilities as soon as possible, the statement said.

Eitan Parnass, director of the Renewable Energy Association of Israel, praised the ministry’s decision to provide funds to the waste-energy generation industry.

“This is a very right measure that the ministry [is taking],” Parnass told The Jerusalem Post. “The bio-gas market in Israel needs to be jump-started as there are very few bio-gas plants.”

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