Environment Ministry fines business NIS 825,300 for illegal burning of waste
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Environment Ministry fines business NIS 825,300 for illegal burning of waste

Uptick in enforcement follows report about 28% rise in emissions of known or suspected carcinogenic pollutants as result of illegal refuse burning

Sue Surkes is The Times of Israel's environment reporter.

A dump in Kafr Manda in northern Israel, whose owner was fined nearly $240,000 by the Environmental Protection Ministry for illegal burning of waste, January 14, 2020..(Environmental Protection Ministry)
A dump in Kafr Manda in northern Israel, whose owner was fined nearly $240,000 by the Environmental Protection Ministry for illegal burning of waste, January 14, 2020..(Environmental Protection Ministry)

The Environmental Protection Ministry has fined a northern Israeli business NIS 825,300 (approximately $240,000) for polluting the air by burning waste illegally.

The ministry’s green police and officials from the northern region were alerted by “smoke rising to a significant height at a number of sites, along with a strong smell of burnt waste and plastic,” according to a statement released Tuesday.

This was traced to a company called M. A Za’arura in the town of Kafr Manda. The company advertises itself as being authorized to remove waste to authorized sites.

According to the ministry, the company’s refuse pile included organic waste, trimmings, animal carcasses, municipal waste and building refuse that included plastic packaging and cardboard.

It was spread all over the site, had not been dealt with in line with the law, and some of it had blown away and polluted other areas. Furthermore, the site had no peripheral fencing or signage.

In a statement accompanying publication of its annual emissions register for 2018, the ministry highlighted a 28 percent rise in pollution caused by materials known or suspected to be carcinogenic as a result of the illegal burning of waste.

It called for a “dramatic reduction” in the use of landfill (to which around 80% of Israeli waste is currently sent) and an uptick in enforcement against illegal behavior.

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