(photo credit: COMPOST OR)
Aiming to challenge the trend toward foreign boycott of agricultural products produced beyond the Green Line, a West Bank compost company is employing Israelis and Palestinians, and selling their fertilizer to farmers from both groups.
Compost Or, whose factory is based in the Jordan Valley Regional Council near the Masua settlement, is the largest Israeli facility generating compost from sewage sludge.
Through an automated mechanical process, the plant generates soil-free and waste-free compost that recycles 100 percent of the sludge that enters the facility, the company said. In recent months, in addition to selling the resultant compost to Israeli farmers, the firm began selling its product to Palestinian farmers as well.
“Our great pride is that we succeeded in reaching a situation in which 100 percent of the sludge and trimmed foliage that enter the factory is transformed into a product that helps farmers, Israelis and Palestinians alike, and in practice, the factory does not generate any waste,” said Daniel Ungar, the managing director of Compost Or.
The factory produces its compost through a controlled process of mixing treated wastewater sludge with pruned trees branches, obtained from pruning contractors around the country, the company said.
The firm implements cleaning and removal services in sludge reservoirs around the country through long-arm excavators, and then loads the sludge into containers for transport to the factory.
“During times in which there are those who chose to boycott Israeli products, we are proud that our product is helping farmers in the Jordan Valley and in all of Israel – and also farmers in the Palestinian Authority,” Ungar said. “We are the proof that it is possible to reach great achievements through cooperation.”
The compost production ensures pathogens and seeds are eliminated from the output. Due to the compost’s high levels of nitrogen and phosphorous, farmers require less chemical fertilizers in their fields.