Barkat announces plans to overhaul waste disposal in capital

Mayor announces Jerusalem is aiming to shift waste away from landfill at Abu Dis in east Jerusalem and eventually close it.

January 26, 2010 06:56
1 minute read.
Barkat announces plans to overhaul waste disposal in capital

barkat. (photo credit: AP)

Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat outlined a five-year plan to revolutionize waste disposal in the capital during a meeting with Environmental Protection Minister Gilad Erdan (Likud) on Monday.

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Barkat announced that the city was aiming to shift waste away from the landfill at Abu Dis in east Jerusalem and eventually close it, though he did not provide a time frame.

The immediate plan is to send 10 percent of the city's waste to the Efeh landfill site near the Dead Sea, he said. In addition, two neighborhoods would take part in a pilot project to separate dry and wet (organic and inorganic) waste in residents' homes.

At the same time, a sorting plant for all of the city's waste will be built within two-and-a-half years, Barkat told Erdan, and a plant to treat waste with environmentally friendly technologies would be erected within five years.

Erdan praised Barkat's initiative, saying it was imperative that the capital of the country deal with its waste in a modern fashion.

"Abu Dis is the only landfill in the country that still operates according to primitive norms. In addition, Jerusalem's recycling rates are among the lowest in the country," Erdan told Barkat, according to the ministry.

Barkat responded that unfortunately, previous mayors did not understand the importance of proper waste disposal. He declared that from now on the city would take responsibility for its waste.

Barkat asked Erdan for NIS 30 million of the initial NIS 80m. three-year price tag for the project. Erdan said he would consider the request and reply within two weeks, but warned that the project should not rely on government funding for its implementation.

Green Course, the national student environmental organization, praised Barkat's plan but questioned the timeline for the pilot project, its future and the plans for separating at the source for the other neighborhoods of Jerusalem.

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