Eran talks about popularizing metal recycling in Israel and other Koala Recycling Solutions projects.
After excitedly learning a few weeks ago that a new organization, Koala Recycling Solutions, was tackling the metal recycling issue in Israel, we decided to get in touch with its CEO, Eran Hilerowicz, to learn more. Here’s what he had to say about his inspiration for founding the company, why it was needed, what Koala does, and more.
How was Koala founded, and what was the inspiration?
I was first “infected” by the ecological “bug” while I was traveling in Australia and New Zealand. I got accustomed to recycling everything and everywhere. When I returned to Israel after 9 months I automatically started recycling everything possible. I quickly realized there is no way to recycle household metals. During my electrical engineering studies in Tel Aviv University and while working in an Israeli Hi-Tech company as a verification engineer, I took a non-for credit environmental leadership course given by the Student Union. This course gave me the push to leave the Hi-Tech industry and do what I truly enjoy. One year later, Koala Recycling Solutions Ltd was founded.
Koala Recycling Solutions was named after the tree hugging bear.
Is there a reason that metal recycling is not so widespread in Israel?
Metal is the most recycled material in the world and also in Israel – 750-000 tons a year.
As opposed to paper and plastic which is mainly collected from the public, almost all metal is collected from the military and industry. Koala Recycling Solutions Ltd. was first in collecting household metals directly from the public.
What kind of community outreach and education programs does Koala offer?
Koala helps events and festivals become environmentally friendly by providing:
- Recycling bins for all types of waste including organic waste
- Compost toilets (ecological toilets without water)
- Biodegradable (compostable) dishes and utensils for food stands
- Educational posts to answer questions regarding various environmental topics
In addition, we also arrange for various workshops on creating art from recyclables for children and adults.
We initiated collection and recycling of household metals and plastic bags during Good Will Day (16.03.2010) at 9 different areas in the country.
We have a Facebook page, “I am also pro-recycling”, with over 8500 fans. Here we publish photos of recycling plants, art and recycling, info on “green” activities in the community, and answer posted questions.
We create presentations for schools on various recycling topics.
Is there a particular way that you present recycling in schools?
Here is a sample presentation intended for school children regrading household metals and plastic bags
Could you name some communities where Koala is currently active?
We currently have metal collection units in Jerusalem, Ashdod, Qiryat Tivon, Rosh Haayin, Emek Yizrael, Ramat Negev, and soon in Kfar Saba and others.
Does Koala plan on expanding the types of materials that it recycles in the future?
Currently we collect a large variety of waste in festivals and events on a small scale.
We have already started to market containers for collecting glass from the public and we are checking possibilities to participate in treating organic waste as well.
Read more about recycling in Israel::
Drinking Beer in Cans and Other Middle East Regional Recycling Problems
Recycling the Depressed Development Town Arad
Nike to Introduce Shoe Recycling Program in Israel