Environmental haven 390.
(photo credit: Julia Schiller)
As you enter Tel Aviv on the main highway an interesting landmark you’ll notice
is the Hiriya, an enormous man-made mountain of trash. Composed of almost 50
years’ worth of compacted remains of mass-consumerism, the Hiriya has recently
emerged as an ecological triumph.
What once served as Israel’s largest
landfill is now a haven of environmentalism as waste from all over the country
is brought there to be sorted for recycling before being transferred to other
facilities; reducing municipal waste by up to ninety percent. An environmental
utopia of green space was envisioned for the land adjacent to the Hiriya when in
2001 8,000 dunams (800 hectares) were set aside for the Ariel Sharon Park,
marked for completion in 2020.
Additionally, in an effort in increase
public awareness tours and classes are given to school groups on the
significance of recycling and environmental sustainability. Artists working with
the park have created functional objects and furniture that inspire individual
initiative to re-use and re-create.
Another fascinating aspect of
exploring the grounds of the Hiriya is the possibility of cultural
Relics from the past peek out from the ground. Everything
from silverware to sweaters are scattered around waiting to
Wandering around the vast spaces that surround the Hiriya is
an overwhelming, dream-like experience; paradoxically portraying the possibility
of environmental renewal against the backdrop of waste.