A civil court in Haifa has ordered the closure of Compost Bay and Western Galilee Ltd. in Kiryat Bialik. The court ruled that the recycling plant’s owners disregarded the Ministry of Environmental Protection’s (MoEP) orders to take care of environmental nuisances such as odors, water pollution, soil contamination, and untreated waste.
The MoEP has received dozens of complaints over the past two years from residents and factory owners within close proximity to Compost Bay and Western Galilee regarding odors coming from the site.
As far back as November 2010, the MoEP’s Northern District office ordered the plant’s owners to cease operations at the compost site for 60 days so that they could improve the infrastructure. At the end of that 60 day period, the plant partially opened, having come to an agreement with the MoEP regarding upgrading of the infrastructure. That upgrade, however, has not been carried out. And despite repeated MoEP demands that the plant present a plan detailing how it will treat the odors and other environmental hazards, such a plan was never received.
Ministry professionals visited the site’s about a month ago, and found that drainage infrastructure was clogged with waste. Therefore, it was not working efficiently and did not redirect polluting liquids as necessary. And two weeks ago, a stack of branches and other yard waste that was at the site, despite orders to remove it, burst into flames. This, as well as previous, similar fires, caused extensive air pollution.
The MoEP will oversee the closure of the site, including removal of waste from the area.