With the current crisis, it might seem that trash is a mundane topic, but the honor of Jerusalem is an important theme at all times. Earlier this month, our group took the "Ne'emanei Nikayon" ("Guardians of Cleanliness") course offered by the Environment Ministry. This course allows graduates to be certified and empowered to issue citations against littering. This is a very important designation for our members to have and to display to the public. We were amazed that we were to be given full authority to write up offenders (but NOT confront them in any way). The fines are substantial and the law, to quote our instructor, has teeth! Below is a brief overview of the fines involved: • Garbage thrown from car onto the street: cigarettes, candy wrappers, etc. Or a truck dumping refuse. Or wind blowing material from the back of a vehicle. All these are finable, from NIS 500-1,500. • The fine for a commercial truck emptying refuse: NIS 3,000-8,000 depending on location. It's higher if the refuse was dumped in park areas or on the beach. • Dumping in public area or on the side of the road: construction refuse will cost NIS 2,000-4,000. The proliferation of signs on streetlights or lampposts can cost the offender between NIS 1,500 and 3,000. Dog refuse was not included since we are not to engage in confrontational activities. Over 60 percent of fines issued in 2005 were issued by Ne'emanai Nikayon - and those fines came to NIS 1.6 million. This money goes into a fund for the environment. Twenty-two people participated in the class. Our organization, Hovevei Zion Hanekia ("Lovers of a Clean Zion") wants to get the word out to the public. We want the public to know about the severity of the fines that can be imposed for littering - even unintentional litters, such as the material that blows off a moving vehicle. Our next "Bag Bash" campaign will include handing out bags to motorists with the fines for littering affixed to the bag. This will really get people's attention. We invite all our supporters to join us Sunday evening, August 6 from 6-7:30 p.m. We will meet at the corner of Emek Refaim and Pierre Koenig streets to hand out these informative and useful bags. Help us get the word out. We know that people are "coin operated" and motivated, especially when it comes to their wallets. Two weeks later, our kickoff parade will march down Rehov Emek Refaim, "armed" with brooms and again passing out our new "info bags." We hope to attract attention and alert the nonchalant public to the fines involved for littering and to the power that ordinary citizens have to make a real change in our surroundings. The anti-littering laws have teeth - so come and help us take a bite out of the trash in Jerusalem. Join Us for Some Good Clean Fun! We Can Do It If We Work Together! For further information, contact Hovevei Zion Hanekia: 052-628-0882 .

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