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Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Environment Ministry to prioritize recycling

New program will shorten procedures necessary for acquiring waste treatment facility building permits in industrial zones.

The Ministerial Committee for Interior and Service Affairs approved on Sunday a new version of the Environmental Protection Ministry’s National Master Plan, that will grant priority to waste treatment and recycling over burying garbage in landfills, the ministry said on Monday.

The new program, which replaces the previous National Master Plan of 1989, will shorten the procedures necessary for acquiring waste treatment facility building permits in industrial zones, and will only require companies to get permits from the local authority or committee involved, according to a statement from the ministry.

Meanwhile, construction will be allowed to begin quite quickly, following an environmental examination of the space that demonstrates no irregularities as well as a public announcement.

“We have removed [on Sunday] a significant bureaucratic obstacle toward implementing the revolution of recycling and transforming waste into a resource,” Environmental Protection Minister Gilad Erdan said in a statement.

“The National Master Plan encourages the market to make use of waste and raw materials whose ingredients create benefits for everyone – environmental, economic and health benefits.”

The “revolution,” Erdan’s office said, has turned “from dream to reality.” As far as landfills go, the New Master Plan also updates regulations and creates mandatory rehabilitation guidelines for both planned and active sites, the statement said. Equally crucial to the new plan is the call to establish district committees that handle waste, the ministry said.