The Environmental Protection Ministry will award NIS 160 million to local authorities joining the office’s waste separation “recycling revolution,” it announced on Monday.

In addition to funding infrastructure for waste separation at the source, the money will also enable the acquisition of collection trucks for the separated garbage and for informational activities, according to the ministry.

This latest amount of financing joins the already NIS 350m.

allocated to 31 local authorities, which has given 94,000 families the opportunity to participate in “wet” (leftover food) and “dry” (paper, plastic, etc.) waste separation. For the latest block of funds, the ministry said it is granting preference to areas deemed national priority regions or places in the periphery.

“The recycling revolution is already a daily fact that exists in about half-a-million Israeli homes,” Environmental Protection Minister Gilad Erdan said. “Authorities realize the economic potential of recycling and the improvement in quality of life of their residents, and therefore, it is not surprising that more and more cities want to take part in the revolution that we are leading.”

The maximum individual grant per city will be NIS 40m., and granting criteria will be based on a number of factors, such as how many households will be participating in the venture and the execution time. The selected authorities will receive grants to finance educational projects for the residents, operational support, waste separation infrastructure, collection trucks and much more, the ministry said.

Among the 31 cities already participating in the waste separation program are Dimona, Beersheba, Ashdod and Afula, where wet debris is already being transferred to produce green electricity and fertilizer, according to the ministry. By the end of 2014, approximately half-a-million residents of Israel will be participating in the waste separation effort, the ministry said.

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