burning trash 311 AP.
(photo credit: AP)
Knesset Health and Environment Committee chairman Dov Henin requested of the
Environmental Protection Ministry on Wednesday to prepare a detailed plan within
three months to deal with people burning their garbage.
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discussed the widespread phenomenon particularly in light of the Carmel forest
fire over the weekend, since one of the possible causes of that blaze was
someone losing control of a fire while burning garbage.
There are no
concrete statistics as to how widespread the phenomenon is, but according to
Fire and Rescue Service data, anywhere between a third to two-thirds of fires in
open spaces result from garbage fires, the committee was told.
fires present a number of environmental dangers in addition to the potential to
lead to massive conflagrations.
Because those who burn garbage –
primarily Arab villages and agricultural villages – do not discriminate, they
burn items, like plastics and tires, whose combustion releases sorts of
potentially poisonous materials, polluting the air and water as a
MK Rachel Adatto said the discussion was timely since one of the
potential causes of the Carmel fire being investigated is garbage
“The pirate landfills are an ecological and health disaster,”
she added, “As one of the lessons of the Carmel fire, the pirate landfills must
be eradicated and those who burn garbage must be punished. The interior and
environmental protection ministers must intervene immediately and put an end to
However, Yoram Horovitz, deputy director-general for local
authorities at the Environmental Protection Ministry, and Amir Levin, commander
of the Green Police, told the committee that the ministry did not have the
manpower to deal with all of the garbage fires.
Therefore, Henin asked
the ministry to prepare a plan.
Henin said the ministry should work with
the Agriculture Ministry and the local authorities as well. The plan should
detail any needed legislative changes, and perhaps create a system of fines and
The plan should contain a budget, which should
include a cost-benefit analysis of air monitors.
While some permits are
issued to burn foliage, the plan should also reevaluate the issuing process for
Henin said the committee would convene again to discuss the
plan once the ministry had drawn it up.