The Jerusalem Municipality is launching its permanent garbage solution. Gihon Jerusalem Municipal Water Company and its subsidiary Jerusalem Sewage and Treatment Plants will approach a number of foreign companies in the next few days to try to promote the construction of a large recycling plant in the city.
The companies, mostly experienced European recycling companies, will be asked to detail their technologies so the municipality can assess the feasibility of installing them in the new plant.
The Jerusalem Municipality collects 1,300 tons of garbage daily - an estimated 500,000 tons a year. Most of the garbage is dumped at the Abu Dis landfill, where it does not undergo any treatment whatsoever, to the disgust of environmental organizations, who have been warning for years about the hazards of this process.
Gihon told "Globes" that, after years in which a permanent garbage disposal solution was stuck, Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat ordered construction of the recycling plant to be expedited. The plant will probably be built near the Atarot industrial zone. It will sort incoming garbage by rubber, plastic, metal, and wood, which will be sent for recycling. The wet waste will be compacted and then used to produce methane.
"The idea is to turn this environmental eyesore into a resource for generating renewable power," Gihon chairman Moshe Klachin told "Globes". "Companies interested in the venture will have to prove that their technologies comply with international environmental standards and reduce substantial quantities of waste. When we complete the process, we'll go on to the next stage, publication of a tender. When the winner is chosen, construction of the plant will take 18-24 months."
The project will cost an estimated several hundred million shekels to build. The Jerusalem Municipality is reviewing the option of granting the company that will build the plan a 25-year franchise to operate it.
"This is the first project in Israel for advanced and innovative waste treatment," says Klachin. "We have strong backing from Mayor Barkat and Minister of Environmental Protection Gilad Erdan. They are updated on the details, and they agree that the present situation of dumping the garbage in a landfill without treatment can't go on."
Klachin said that Jerusalem and its environs create the largest amount of garbage in the country. The new recycling plant will serve the city's metropolitan area, including Modi'in, Modi'in Illit, Mevasseret Zion, and Givat Zeev.
Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - www.globes-online.com - on April 3, 2011
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