The Ministry of Environmental Protection (MoEP) has presented its new waste treatment policy at a conference for heads of local authorities. The government will increase competition in the waste market, which will significantly increase the amount of waste that is treated and recycled throughout Israel, lower municipal property taxes, and improve the quality of lives of residents. The objective: By 2020, 35% of waste will be recycled or recovered, 80% of waste will be treated and sorted at facilities that will be established, and 100% of waste infrastructure in the periphery will be upgraded.
During the conference in Tel Aviv, on Wed., March 2, 2016, Minister Avi Gabbay and Director General Yisrael Dancziger revealed details of the ministry’s plan. The idea is to make Israel’s waste market more effective and competitive.
Minister Avi Gabbay: "We are working to reduce gaps in all fields, including waste; we are working on decentralization, bringing competition into the field, and strengthening local authorities in order to increase recycling and improve infrastructure throughout the country."
MoEP Director General Yisrael Dancziger: "We are beginning a revolutionary program that will strengthen local authorities, and will lead to an increase in the percentage of recycling and to an improvement in the lives of residents."
Among the steps the ministry will take:
- Increase incentives for local authorities to recycle, by giving them NIS 316 for every extra ton of waste recycled compared to the previous year.
- Establish 46 facilities for waste treatment. This includes removing barriers for their establishment and setting up an operation scheme with the cooperation of the Finance Ministry and the Israel Lands Authority. It also includes increasing enforcement against pirate facilities, promoting the establishment of thermal facilities, and setting up a national waste data flow system that will incorporate information from all treatment facilities and landfills across Israel.
- Setting up a mechanism for the supervision of prices in the municipal waste market. Currently, monopolies rule the market, and charge excessive fees. These are passed on to citizens through municipal property taxes, and result in an increased cost-of-living for Israelis.
- Reducing social gaps in the waste market by improving infrastructure in 133 local authorities in the periphery. This is being done through the ministry’s Environmental Justice program; the MoEP is investing NIS 300 million to improve quality of life and health in the Arab sector and NIS 100 million to establish waste facilities and improve waste collection and treatment in the Arab sector.
- Improving implementation of the Packaging Law, which will reduce the volume of waste that is landfilled. This includes increasing goals and enforcement, and allowing for competition against the Tamir Corp., currently the only company allowed to treat packaging waste.
- Promoting passage of a Construction Waste Law that will place responsibility for construction waste upon local authorities, in order to prevent construction waste hazards across the country.