Organic waste – such as vegetable and fruit peels, egg shells, pits, etc. – constitutes a significant part of any household garbage bin, but it doesn’t have to. These materials are valuable stuff, which could easily be composted and transformed into fertilizer that helps plants and trees grow (instead of filling up a landfill). But composting requires space and knowledge, and in an urban environment many people may not be inclined towards taking the time and effort to do it.
But what if it were all set up for you? What if all you had to do was separate your organic waste from the rest of your trash and your municipality would take care of the rest?
Hopefully, in Israel, that may soon be an option. The Israeli Environmental Protection Ministry is now pushing a Packaging Bill that would provide a sustainable solution for all types of discarded consumer packaging. Simultaneously, it is offering NIS 200 million of assistance (about $50,000) to local authorities to move towards “separation at the source” within the next three years.
Separation at the source means that the different types of waste (such as organic and recyclable) would be separated on the household level, in different receptacles. In order to enforce this, local authorities would need to distribute different collection bins for organic and non-organic waste.
While obviously more environmentally friendly, moving to separation at the source and using organic waste would also save the country money. Six million tons of waste are now generated in Israel each year, 75 percent of which is interred in landfills. Each ton of dumped garbage costs NIS 185 (about $40) – and a lot of greenhouse gas emissions.
Michaela Polansky, the Environmental Projects Coordinator at Urbanics, said that “what has happened over the last two years is that the local authorities have realized that something has to change. Primarily because of the landfill levy.”
Soon enough, hopefully, garbage will be put to better (and cheaper) use.
Read more about organic waste and composting:
NatureMill’s Urban Compost Device for Composting in Cities and Apartments
Meet Your Garden’s Best Friend, the Earthworm
Organic Waste Converter “Hands-free Food Waste System” May Work Better Than Composting
Image via: James Kamo