Three waste-to-energy plants greenlighted for central Israel

Government plans to invest NIS 2.8 billion of an estimated NIS 4 billion cost of the facilities, part of Environment Ministry’s strategic plan to reduce polluting landfill

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

Sorting of plastic waste. (BizTV screenshot)
Sorting of plastic waste. (BizTV screenshot)

The National Infrastructure Committee on Monday greenlighted three new Environmental Protection Ministry projects for plants that will incinerate waste — this time in the center of the country.

Billed as waste-to-energy plants, they will be located at the Morasha junction, at Hiriya. the site of a former waste dump southeast of Tel Aviv, and the northern industrial zone of coastal Ashdod.

Other plants are also in the planning stage, notably in the area of Ma’ale Adumim in the West Bank, close to Jerusalem.

“These waste-to-energy facilities, as well as others being advanced by the committee, will treat municipal solid waste that would otherwise be sent to landfill,” a ministry statement said.

The three facilities, said the ministry were part of Israel’s Strategic Plan for the Treatment of Waste by 2030, “aimed at reducing landfill and its environmental hazards.”

The plan, according to the ministry, is to see Israel recycling 51 percent of its waste, treating another 23% at waste-to-energy plants, and sending 26% to landfill, compared with around 80% that ends up in landfill today. If not built correctly, landfill sites can lead to groundwater pollution as liquids from the waste seep out, and to emissions into the air of methane, said by experts to contribute 20 times more to global warming than carbon dioxide.

The plants will be built on the basis of a public-private partnership, with the government footing NIS 2.8 billion of the cost.

The ministry said the plants would incorporate air treatment systems, with permitted pollution levels based on European standards, and would conform to the Israel Clean Air Act.

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