A major environmental project was launched in Jerusalem on Wednesday to remove building waste illicitly deposited by construction companies in and around the city. Under the NIS 21 million clean-up plan, which is being jointly funded by the state and the city, two transfer stations for sorting and recycling construction and demolition waste will be set up in the north and south of the city over the next two years. The plan also entails cleaning and rehabilitating affected areas, as well as increased enforcement and inspection of waste transporters and large construction sites. "The illegal disposal of building waste is a state-wide plague that does serious environmental damage," Environmental Protection Minister Gideon Ezra said at a press conference announcing the plan. "This plan will bring about a true solution to the problem in the Jerusalem area," he said. The three-year project, expected to get under way in the next few months, is being primarily funded by the Environmental Protection Ministry, which is footing nearly half the bill. The city, which is contributing NIS 2m. to the clean-up project, welcomed the move. "The Jerusalem Municipality places at the top of its priorities the development of environmental issues in the city," Mayor Uri Lupolianski said. An estimated 127,000-198,000 tons of construction and demolition waste are produced in the Jerusalem area annually, the Environmental Protection Ministry said. Less than 10 percent of this waste reaches approved sites. The waste treatment plan, which has been dubbed "Jerusalem Clean of Waste," was first approved by the ministerial committee on Jerusalem affairs last year.