Israeli recycling in its infancy


Last updated 15:25 24/06/2014
Southland Times photo
POSITIVE: Cardboard recycling in the narrow lanes of the old city of Jerusalem.

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Our intrepid Southland Wastebusters' secretary, Jenny Campbell, has been on the adventure of a lifetime in Israel, and of course, her waste-busting instincts have come to the fore as she observes the local recycling and rubbish practices.

According to Jenny, recycling in Israel seems to be in its infancy. There are relatively few facilities available to separate your common recyclables i.e. glass, aluminium cans, cardboard or plastic, and single-use plastic bags are prevalent, especially in tourist areas where selling local goods is the main focus.

As Jenny points out, a few places around the world have actually chosen to ban plastic bags because of their negative impact on wildlife and the environment, which is a great move that's having positive impacts. Unfortunately, Israel is not yet one of these places and in the tourist areas of Jerusalem, Tel Aviv and Bethlehem, street sweeper vehicles are kept busy collecting litter.

In the early mornings, small tractors with high-sided carts on the back collect rubbish bags from down the narrow alleys and streets before another stream of tourists and locals descend. This service employs many people and there is also some separation of cardboard for recycling, which is positive.

However, Jenny sees that there is scope for a lot more recycling, and also water conservation measures, which she intends to discuss with the manager of her hotel.

For more waste information, contact your local council or environment centre. To join Wastebusters, email

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- The Southland Times


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