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Recycling among school, kindergarten students continues to rise
By SHARON UDASIN
13/01/2014
School and kindergarten students recycled a total of NIS 2.76 million plastic and glass beverage containers in 2013.
 
School and kindergarten students recycled a total of NIS 2.76 million worth of plastic and glass beverage containers in 2013, earning NIS 820,000 in bottle deposit cash for their respective institutions.

In the past decade, since Israel’s bottle recycling efforts began, educational institutions and community organizations have recycled a total of 47 million such beverage containers, generating NIS 14 million from bottle deposits, according to ELA, Israel’s Recycling Corporation.

Including the 2.76 million bottles recycled by the students, schools and community organizations, a total of 5 million bottles were sent for reprocessing in 2013 alone, a jump of 270 percent in comparison to the first year they began collecting (2003), information from ELA said.

Looking at total recycling figures for the year 2013, Israelis recycled 594 million in mandatory bottle deposits, generating a total of NIS 178m. in deposit refunds, the ELA data reported.

The company has not yet calculated the number of “voluntary” plastic bottles recycled – bottles not eligible for deposit refunds – for the year 2013. However, Israelis returned about 77.2% of bottles marked eligible for deposit this year.

As of the end of 2012, ELA calculated that the Israeli public had recycled 5 billion beverages containers over the past decade – that contained about 0.5 million tons of plastic, or the equivalent of six Azrieli Towers, the company said at the time.

The schools and kindergartens participating in the recycling effort for the past decade are particularly critical to the national recycling effort, as children receive encouragement to bring in bottles to school from home, according to ELA.

In reward for the students’ efforts, the schools not only receives the 30 agorot bottle- deposit-refunds but also earns prizes through the years – based on their achievements.

This year, kindergartners excelled in particular, recycling 58% more beverage containers than they did last year, the data from ELA said.

ELA chairwoman Nehama Ronen and Environmental Protection Minister Amir Peretz honored the schools and kindergartens that performed the best in 2013 in a ceremony last week.

“Israel has made a huge leap this year in which it succeeded to pass in recycling percentage not just the United States but also Europe,” Ronen said.

“Recycling achievements in Israel are first and foremost a result of education, and we owe a big thanks to students and kindergarten children who insist upon recycling and influence their families from a young age to cooperate on a daily basis.”
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