Plans for the largest recycling plant in the Middle East are under way, after the Environmental Protection Ministry and Finance Ministry Accountant- General’s Office launched a joint tender for the project on Sunday.The offices have issued a preliminary tender for the construction of a giant recycling facility that will transform waste into green energy, an Environmental Protection Ministry statement said. Each day, the plant will bring in more than 1,000 tons of garbage – about twice as much waste as is produced in the Tel Aviv-Jaffa metropolitan area, according to the ministry.“Israel is rapidly advancing toward the recycling standards of developed countries,” said Environmental Protection Minister Gilad Erdan. “Around the world already, people understand that this is a new economy – transforming waste into resources, creating new jobs, producing energy without harming the environment and reducing dependence on oil.”The facility, which is expected to begin operating in 2016, will employ an organic waste treatment system that involves anaerobic digestion, generating green energy and fertilizer as by-products. Recycling on such a large scale will allow the country to significantly reduce its usage of landfills, thereby decreasing the amount of space occupied by garbage as well as the polluting emissions released by garbage dumps, the Environmental Protection Ministry said.“The tender for the construction of an organic waste treatment facility is another step toward implementing government policies to promote renewable energy production, and in this manner the project joins tenders to establish solar plants in Ashalim that were advanced by the Accountant General’s Office,” said Finance Ministry accountant-general Michal Abadi-Boiangiu. “I have no doubt that the BOT (Build- Operate-Transfer) method will also prove itself in this case an efficient tool for infrastructural development in the State of Israel for the benefit of its citizens.”According to the BOT model, the entrepreneur who wins the tender will undertake the design, financing, building and operation of the facility for a 25-year permit period. At the end of this period, the facility will be transferred to the state.The deadline for preliminary tender proposals is January 2013, the ministry said.