Following an indictment filed by the Environmental Protection Ministry, iron and metals processing firm Dan Recycling Ltd. has received a fine of NIS 400,000 from the Petah Tikvah Magistrate Court for causing severe air pollution in the region and for running without a license, the ministry said on Monday.

The company, which operates in the industrial area near Tira and the Kochav Yair settlement, has faced complaints from local residents for years, and the ministry filed the lawsuit after deeming that the plant activities “constituted an environmental hazard, which caused severe air quality hazards,” according to a statement from the ministry spokesperson.

RELATED:
Two oil spills strike Eilat Bay over weekend
Econ C'tee recommends mining freeze at Samar sand dunes

In addition to the NIS 400,000 fine, the CEO of the company will be required to perform 150 hours of community service, and the company also signed an NIS 800,000 pledge that over the next three years it would abstain from carrying out similar offenses, the statement said.

“This court decision is important news to the area’s residents, who for many long years have expressed their concerns about the effects of the plant operations,” said Gideon Mazor, central district manager of the Environmental Protection Ministry, in a statement.

According to the court’s decision, the plant can continue its operations with its current processor only twice a week for the rest of the year. The decision also includes a court order to close the plant, effective within two years, if the operators do not obtain a business license in accordance with the law, the statement said.

“The decision includes a long list of professional rules that went into place immediately, and the Environmental Protection Ministry will oversee the implementation [of these standards]. In the case of the company’s failure to comply, it will be considered to be in contempt of court.”

Dan Recycling told The Jerusalem Post, however, that the allegations against them were incorrect, and that they just settled with the towns and the ministry after three years of tireless fighting.

“We don't think we caused any problems in the neighborhood,” Doron Hanan, former general manager and one of the current company directors told the Post. “The village of Kochav Yair, like anywhere, is following the saying ‘Not In My Backyard.’” “Anywhere in the world where you're dealing with recycling material it’s noisy and people don't want it there,” he continued, denying that the Environmental Protection Ministry ever truly found proof that hazardous pollutants were affecting air quality there.

Hanan added that since the company’s establishment in 1994, they have been recycling millions of tons of scrap metal, a process that they are doing as well in Acre, where they have friendly relations with the community.

Please LIKE our Facebook page - it makes us stronger