Environmental Protection Minister Amir Peretz instructed his office on Tuesday to prepare a plan to absorb 500 ultra-Orthodox and Arab Israelis who will perform civil service in the ministry.
Among the positions to be assigned to the civil servants include working in the marine and coastal division, overseeing pesticide activity and a wide range of other responsibilities that will help them integrate into society, according to the ministry. Peretz is a member of the Ministerial Committee for Equal Sharing of the Burden.
"This step will help the environment, also giving those who serve the chance to find a rewarding job that will benefit local communities," Peretz said.
In addition to establishing the new service unit, Peretz said that he would allocate NIS 40 million to treating waste in the country's weakest areas, in which residents still burn waste because they do not have collection systems.
"I will not accept the fact that there are neighborhoods in Israel that look like the third world," Peretz said. "I intend to invest a great effort in both the haredi and Arab populations. Do not be confused, even those who live in north Tel Aviv are influenced by what happens in Bnei Brak. Environment has no boundaries."