The Modiin Maccabim Reut City Council decided at its latest meeting to approve a waste separation project in the city. The project, which will be implemented for the first time ever in Israel throughout a whole city, is being carried out in cooperation with the Ministry of Environment Protection. It will turn Modiin Maccabim Reut into the first city in Israel to recycle entirely in this manner, making us the greenest city in the country. The project is expected to begin January 2011 in Avanei Chen, with a new neighborhood or two joining in every few months. The last neighborhoods to join in and complete the process of redefining how Modiin recycles will be Maccabim and Reut at the beginning of 2012.
Modiin Maccabim Reut consists of approximately 78,000 residents, who create around 22,000 tons of combined household waste per year. The amount of waste recycled at the various facilities scattered across the city is the highest in the country, standing at 7% (9% of all household waste, not including trimmings).
The recycling bins are currently emptied three times a week by two garbage trucks. Following the closure of the site at Sedot Micah, the garbage is now taken to the Reminer transfer station in Petach Tivkah. This procedure costs the city around 430₪ per ton of waste, including taxes, and close to 40% off the costs (approximately 160₪) are paid for by the waste handling facility. This amount is expected to significantly increase due to a number of parameters: increased taxes by the Ministry of Environment Protection (from 60₪ to 100₪ per ton), increased "hiding away"/disposal charges, and changes in legislation that will require all waste to be taken care of before cleared away. All waste will also soon have to meet OECD standards, which Israel just recently joined. As a result, just the "hiding away" procedure is expected to cost around 300₪ per ton by 2016.
As part of the new program, the city residents will separate their wet and dry garbage in their homes. All houses will receive special brown garbage bins for their wet trash, and they will continue to throw out their dry garbage in their regular trashcans. The process will also be brought to the garbage rooms, where there will be separate garbage bins in a similar fashion.
The municipality will embark on an unprecedented explanatory period in order to familiarize the residents with the upcoming changes. This process will be divided into three stages, the first being explaining the project in schools to the children and youth, who make up a principal part of the city. The second stage will be free door-to-door distribution of the garbage bins, together with explanations on the separation process and where each piece of garbage goes. The last step is a marketing and advertising campaign in the media.
Modiin Macabim Reut includes a number of characteristics that make it a good location to implement this project. The city contains a young population that is very environmentally aware, and the residents already make good use of the recycling bins that are scattered across the city and tend to fill up very quickly. New recycling bins are slowly being added throughout the streets where even more kinds of materials are collected. We are a new and planned city, with wide, spacey garbage rooms that were built to allow waste separation. The trash rooms in Modiin can easily hold 30% or more garbage than they do today. The municipality has recruited all sorts of professionals to promote the program, including Deputy Manager of the Shefa Department, Nisim Chaviv, Ayal Shani and the Environmental Unit, and the Economic Company for City Development led by CEO Doron Barack.
In order to implement the waste separation program, logistic and perceptual changes must be made. The program will affect virtually everyone involved that currently deals in one way or another with the city's garbage -- not to mention the behavioral changes that will be required on part of the residents. It is therefore clear that the project's implementation must come hand-in-hand with a significant financial investment, a good part of which will go towards familiarizing the public with the changes through the city's schools, advertising, and intensive explanation. That being said, the municipality is expected to be able to save approximately 1.4 million shekels during the first year, and up to twice that amount before 2016. The city is expected to lower its taxes up to 50% as a result of the project's implementation -- possibly even more than that following the legislative changes.
The municipality is currently communicating with the Dalila Compost Site, which is located next to Kfar Menachem and has expressed interest in collecting the city's organic waste. Meanwhile, the Economic Company for City Development has taken it upon itself to establish a site for trimmings within the city's borders, next to the sub station (plan 21, plot 107). The site will ensure that the trimmings be dealt with properly, while saving on "clearing away" and transportation costs and increasing the recycling percentages to 19% of all combined waste.
Overall, implementing the entire plan will cost approximately 8,800,000₪, 6,100,00₪ of which will be funded by the Ministry of Environment Protection. The Modiin Maccabim Reut Municipality will pay the remaining 2,700,00₪ itself.
Thursday, October 07, 2010