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Israel targets mega-recycling plant

Israel – The Environmental Protection Ministry in Israel is working on a plan to construct a huge recycling plant that would handle a significant proportion of the municipal waste generated in the centre of the country. The plan stems from the ministry’s conclusion that neither local authorities nor private investors are likely to construct much-needed recycling facilities on their own, thus making government intervention essential. The finance and national infrastructure ministries are also involved in this project.
Within three years, some 1.5 million Israelis are expected to start separating their dry and wet refuse for potential recycling, according to the Environmental Protection Ministry’s projections. But Alona Sheafer, the ministry’s Director General, says a lack of recycling plants is proving to be a barrier. ‘Currently, there are a few facilities that can be used temporarily, but not one of them meets standards like those found in Europe, for example,’ she comments.
The ministry’s plan is for the proposed facility to use the build-operate-transfer (BOT) system already adopted for Israel’s desalination plants: private investors would build the plant, operate it under terms that guarantee they will recoup their investment, and then transfer it to the state at the end of a defined time period.

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