(photo credit: Courtesy ELA)
Israelis have recycled over five billion beverage containers over the past
decade, since recycling activities began in Israel.
The total amount of
bottles recycled, equivalent to six Azrieli Towers, has prevented over half a
million tons of plastic from making its way into the country’s landfills,
according to ELA, Israel’s Recycling Corporation, which has been overseeing the
recycling process. From the bottles recycled, the public has saved over NIS 1.2
billion, ELA reported.
“Israel has conducted a revolution in the past
decade – more than 50% of beverage containers that are consumed are recycled,”
said Nehama Ronen, chairwoman of ELA.
“This figure is higher than that of
many other countries in the world,” she said.
Of the 5 billion beverage
bottles recycled in the past decade, 4.4 billion of them were either the result
of required recycling, or were handed in for recycling tempted by the receipt of
bottle deposit fees. These containers consisted of 1.4 billion glass bottles,
1.5 billion plastic bottles and 1.45 billion cans.
The other 750 million
deposits were all voluntary, ELA data said. Containers used by families –
predominantly 1.5-liter bottles – have been voluntarily recycled and altogether
represent 33,000 tons of plastic.
There are currently about 18,000
recycling bins stationed in more than 300 cities and towns across the country,
as well as 21 urban stations for bottle collection that ELA maintains. The
recycling station in Jerusalem’s Talpiot neighborhood receives approximately 8
million containers each year, according to the ELA data.
country, 30 trucks patrol for recycling collection each day, and every truck can
carry up to 120,000 containers at once. The recycling record occurred this year,
when the trucks collected 3.12 million bottles in a single day, the company
Educational, military and other organizations account for 12%
percent of the annual recycling effort, and in the past decade, students have
collection about 20 million containers in parks and schools. The school to
return the most containers is the Beit Rachel Strauss School in Jerusalem, which
has turned in 640,000 containers over the years, the ELA data
Taking a look at school demographics, students from the
Arab-Israeli sector have recycled over 1.4 million containers, students from the
ultra-Orthodox community have recycled over 3.3 million containers and students
from the general public have brought in over 13.6 million containers, according
In return for their deposits, the students have received a total
of NIS 5.5 million for their schools.
Meanwhile, the IDF has collected
over 7.6 million containers, with the reigning army recycling champion being
Comparing Israel to the rest of the world, the country
recycles 50.3% of all polyethylene terephthalate (PET) bottles, more than the
United States at 29.3% and almost as high as Europe at 51%, according to the
“Recycling has become an integral part of the daily life of the
public in Israel and we can certainly say that we have a country that recycles,”