At 70 hectares big, the Hiria garbage dump is pretty hard to miss.It’s literally a mountain of garbage. Located off of the road connecting Tel Aviv and Jerusalem, Hiria is a cautionary tale of consumerism, excess waste, and what happens when you don’t reduce, reuse and recycle. An ecological disaster since 1952 when it first became a dumping ground for the trash of the greater Tel Aviv region, Hiria is now being rejuvenated into a symbol of renewal and transformed into part of a greater park project.
The rehabilitation of the park includes the creation of a multi functional landscape to be available to the public, and the simultaneous reversal of existing ecological damage.
Environmentally pro-active activities taking place near the former garbage dump include a recycling park (which is used as an educational tool for both local and international professionals) and clean energy (the methane gas resulting from the decomposition of the garbage at Hiria is converted into energy).
A visitor’s center, which was design by eco-friendly designer Brigitte Cartier (her work above), has also being created in order to educate children and school groups about the damages of garbage and, in that way, nip future environmental damage in the bud. Activities at the visitor’s center will include educational programs that provide information about Hiria’s past, a resource center about the park’s current development, guided tours, and the option to host public or private events.
Certain recreational activities are already available in the park, such as bike and hiking trails. Have no fear, though – the park managers promise that all nasty garbage odors have been eliminated.
During the month of July, special family-oriented and eco-art activities are available:
Family Tours and Reuse Workshops – offered every Thursday morning in July
Re-Use Art Workshops with Brigitte Cartier -offered on July 17th (with a focus on plastics and nylon) and July 31st (with a focus on billboard signs)
In the future, though, let’s try to avoid another Hiria-esque situation. See more Green Prophet advice about avoiding garbage at Mulch, rot, and reinvigorate: Composting (Part 1) and Yoav Kotik Giveaway and Cool Reuse Ideas.