The new RDF plant at the Hiriya Recycling Park will treat 1,500 tons of waste from the Tel Aviv metropolitan area every day, including wood, plastic, textiles, cardboard and paper, according to the Jerusalem Post.
Using a dry combustion process that emits zero harmful gasses, the waste will be transformed into fuel that can be used in the same way as conventional sources.
“This is a project that is going to generate a whole revolution in the treatment of waste in the Dan area and the whole of Israel,” said Gila Oron, head of the Tel Aviv region at the Interior Ministry.
The USD 113 million plant has been cooking since 2010 when it received original approval from the Interior Ministry, initial steps for its groundbreaking only took place recently during the International Waste Tech Conference initiated by the park and Dan Municipal Sanitation Association chairman Doron Sapir.
A collaborative project launched by the park, Veolia Environment and Nesher Israel Cement Enterprises, the 21,000 square meter plant will process 540,000 tons of waste each year, and a large portion of the energy generated will be used to at the cement plant.
Amit Marmur, Nesher’s environmental affairs manager, told Jerusalem Post that “using the fuel at the cement plant is both economically viable and safe.”
“We have one planet, we have limited resources and we are all responsible to manage them in an appropriate way,” he said. “We are following in the footsteps of many other factories and communities that have understood the value inherent in RDF.”
Abu Dhabi is building a 100MW trash to fuel plant, but the RDF facility at Hiriya will be the largest of its kind in the Middle East, and one of the largest in the world, according to Philippe Abraham, director of strategic planning at Veolia.
Not only will the plant divert just over half of the Gush Dan area’s waste into fuel, but the massive facility will also offer an excellent learning opportunity for visitors to the park, which has become quite famous for its recycling initiatives and art made from trash.
This combined with new solar initiatives will gradually make Israel less dependent on foreign energy sources, but we’re not likely to see the small nation give up its natural gas or shale oil ambitions any time soon.
Image via Amir Paz, Flickr