Barkat announces plans to overhaul waste disposal in capital

Mayor announces Jerusalem is aiming to shift waste away from landfill at Abu Dis in east Jerusalem and eventually close it.

barkat (photo credit: AP)
(photo credit: AP)

Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat outlined a five-yearplan to revolutionize waste disposal in the capital during a meetingwith Environmental Protection Minister Gilad Erdan (Likud) on Monday.

Barkatannounced that the city was aiming to shift waste away from thelandfill at Abu Dis in east Jerusalem and eventually close it, thoughhe did not provide a time frame.

The immediate plan is to send 10 percent of the city's waste tothe Efeh landfill site near the Dead Sea, he said. In addition, twoneighborhoods would take part in a pilot project to separate dry andwet (organic and inorganic) waste in residents' homes.

At the same time, a sorting plant for all of the city's wastewill be built within two-and-a-half years, Barkat told Erdan, and aplant to treat waste with environmentally friendly technologies wouldbe erected within five years.

Erdan praised Barkat's initiative, saying it wasimperative that the capital of the country deal with its waste in amodern fashion.

"Abu Dis is the only landfill in the country that stilloperates according to primitive norms. In addition, Jerusalem'srecycling rates are among the lowest in the country," Erdan toldBarkat, according to the ministry.

Barkatresponded that unfortunately, previous mayors did not understand theimportance of proper waste disposal. He declared that from now on thecity would take responsibility for its waste.

Barkat asked Erdan for NIS 30 million of the initial NIS 80m.three-year price tag for the project. Erdan said he would consider therequest and reply within two weeks, but warned that the project shouldnot rely on government funding for its implementation.

Green Course, the national student environmental organization,praised Barkat's plan but questioned the timeline for the pilotproject, its future and the plans for separating at the source for theother neighborhoods of Jerusalem.