Barkat, Erdan to discuss J'lem waste, recycling

Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat and Environmental Protection Minister Gilad Erdan set to discuss the capital's waste disposal and recycling infrastructures.

By EHUD ZION WALDOKS
January 25, 2010 03:38
1 minute read.
jerusalem bridge 88

jerusalem bridge 88. (photo credit: )



Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat and Environmental Protection Minister Gilad Erdan are set to meet Monday morning to discuss the capital's waste disposal and recycling infrastructures.



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Barkat has proposed a pilot project in certain neighborhoods for residents to separate wet and dry garbage (organic and non-organic) and is interested in funding from one of the ministry's budgets. Erdan will most likely be amenable to Barkat's proposals or even push for a more ambitious project since he has set waste disposal and recycling as his ministry's number one priority this year.



National student environmental organization Green Course sent a letter to Barkat recently detailing residents' complaints about the distance between their homes and recycling containers. Much of Jerusalem is outfitted with receptacles for recycling plastic bottles and paper, but residents complained that they were too far from their homes.



In response to the letter, the organization was invited to a Jerusalem municipal council meeting on the topic.



The only recycling center for glass, metal and electronic equipment in the capital is in Givat Shaul, across from Herzog Hospital, near the entrance to Jerusalem.



Proper waste disposal via recycling and composting can solve several crucial problems.





First, it reduces the land needed for garbage dumps. Land is a hot commodity in short supply in Israel. Erdan has set a goal of recycling 50 percent of all garbage by mid-decade. To that end, he and the ministry are working on legislation which would make manufacturers and importers responsible for the entire lifetime of the product, including recycling packaging. He also plans to introduce a system of separating wet and dry garbage at home which would then be collected by municipal garbage trucks. At present, the only compost options are local efforts in community gardens in some neighborhoods.

Second, landfills produce methane which is one of the gases that contribute to global warming. As the organic matter in landfills decomposes it emits methane into the atmosphere. Part of Israel's emissions reduction plan, which is currently being compiled, will no doubt encourage composting and recycling to reduce emissions.


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