Plastic bottles to be sold for recycling are seen at a storage.
(photo credit: REUTERS)
A new recycling plant has begun collecting the garbage of some 1 million residents of the Jerusalem region – the fruits of a NIS 100 million investment in state-of-the-art waste technologies.
Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat and Environmental Protection Minister Avi Gabai inaugurated the Greennet recycling plant on Tuesday afternoon in the capital city’s Atarot industrial zone, alongside the factory’s owners and CEO. Aiming to rank among the most advanced recycling facilities in the world, the recycling plant makes use of the newest technologies in order to perform automatic separation of household waste.
“The plant that we established will mark Jerusalem as a leader of the green revolution in Israel, with household waste sorting without human intervention, saving a lot of money, and the possibility to transform waste into an energy resource,” Barkat said.
Construction began on the facility in September 2013, to replace the overflowing Abu Dis landfill located just east of Jerusalem, which was closed down later that year. The Greennet factory will be receiving about 250 truckloads of garbage daily, with a capacity of 1,500 tons of waste daily and 400,000 tons annually, the municipality said.
Greennet is jointly owned by two companies – the Teco Group, which specializes in recycling, and YS B, an infrastructure firm.
The operation of the Greennet facility is expected to save Jerusalem about NIS 17.8m. annually due to the city’s reduced landfill levy and decreased waste transport needs, according to the municipality.
“The amount of waste recycled in Jerusalem has grown considerably and currently stands at about 50 percent, which has led Jerusalem to become a city in which the largest amount of waste is recycled in the country,” said Offer Bogin, CEO of Greennet. “In addition, a large portion of the organic waste is treated by automatic means and becomes compost, which is returned to nature.”
The plant, which began its operations earlier in the year, employs some 100 people from the surrounding communities, both Jews and Arabs, the municipality said.
“Like other industries in the sector, waste is being aligned with global standards by investing in new technologies,” Gabai said. “Factories like the Greennet plant that we are inaugurating here today are more environmental and more economic.”