The state of municipal solid waste management in Israel

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Regulation is a key tool for implementing municipal solid waste (MSW) management strategies and plans. While local authorities in Israel are responsible for the storage, collection, and disposal of MSW, Israel’s Ministry of Environmental Protection (MoEP) is responsible for the formulation and implementation of waste management policies and legislation. For the past 12 years, about 80% of the MSW in Israel has been landfilled and recycling rates have not increased, despite regulations. This paper presents the state of MSW management in Israel in light of the MoEP’s strategic goal of landfilling reduction, the regulations and legislation designed and implemented for achieving this goal, and the ensuing results. Among other things, the results indicate the importance of monitoring and assessing policy and regulations to examine whether regulation is in fact effective and whether it keeps track of its own targets and goals or not. It is also concluded that even when there is an extensive regulation that includes a wide range of laws, economic penalties and financial incentives (such as landfill levy and financing of MSW separation at source arrangements), this does not guarantee proper treatment or even an improvement in waste management. The key to success is first and foremost a suitable infrastructure that will enable achievement of the desired results.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)527-534
Number of pages8
JournalWaste Management and Research
Issue number6
StatePublished - 1 Jun 2018

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
In March 2017, after a successful trial period, an RDF plant was inaugurated in the Hiriya transfer station near Tel Aviv. The RDF plant sorts 1500 tons of mixed MSW per day (half of the total amount processed in Hiriya transfer station) and produces solid fuel for the cement industry. The plant, which is the first of its kind in Israel and one of the largest in the world, is in fact “a revolution in terms of treating waste as a resource in Israel” (Dan Cities Association for Sanitation 2017b). Both plants, Atarot and the RDF plant in Hiriya, together receive about 3000 tons of MSW per day, which is about one-sixth of the MSW generated in Israel. With an average recovery rate of 50% each, the two plants are expected to contribute to the reduction of landfilling in Israel by approximately 8%, which constitute a real game changer for the first time in MSW management in Israel. Still, despite the considerable sums accumulated in the aforementioned Cleanliness Fund, the Hiriya RDF plant received no financial support from the MoEP, and the Atarot plant received negligible financial support (Ministry of Environmental Protection, 2011b; State Comptroller, 2016).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2018, © The Author(s) 2018.


  • Municipal solid waste
  • legislation
  • municipal solid waste management
  • recycling
  • regulation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Engineering
  • Pollution


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