Jerusalem sanitation officials happily report a 60% increase in recycling in 2013 as compared to the previous year. 65,881 tons of garbage was recycled in 2013 as compared to 40,922 tons in 2012.
In 2012, 361,639 tons of garbage was brought to landfill sites as compared to 360,757 in 2013. This is particularly significant when one realizes other cities report an annual increase in garbage of 5%.
City Hall credits efforts by Mayor Nir Barkat, who remains determined to increase recycling and to make Jerusalem a greener city. Towards achieving this goal, the city last year distributed 3,000 recycling bins for various materials including paper, carton, metals, electronics, textiles and organic materials. Barkat intends to continue this green trend, hoping to make Jerusalem a leading city in Israel regarding waste disposal and the environment.
Officials add the increase in recycling organic matter has also increased significantly, from 2,533 tons in 2012 to 5,030 in 2013. This is due in a big way to the hundreds of bins stationed around the city, particularly in hotels, supermarkets and large businesses. A special sanitation unit was created to remove the organic recyclable waste.
Another project, which permits residents to purchase an organic waste composter, is attributed to the significant increase. The pilot project began in the German Colony and Old Katamon neighborhoods and officials hope to expand it. This permits residents to produce compost in their homes. In 2014, the city hopes to add the Yovel and Ganim neighborhoods, as well as Beit HaKerem and Har Nof to the compost project. This includes the reduced rate for purchasing the machine as well as personalized home visits to educate residents if requested.
(YWN – Israel Desk, Jerusalem)