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Negev Ecology, a firm that operates in environmental protection, will invest NIS 2 million together with the Environment Ministry in a site that will remove poisonous materials from seriously contaminated soil.

The director-general of Negev Ecology, Nati Poznansky, said that a 20-dunam area at the Dudaim waste dump in southern Israel has been prepared for the trial project. Soil there that is contaminated by the Environment Ministry standards, will be treated at the site for contamination by fuels, chemicals and heavy metals.

Currently, disposal of highly polluted soil is permitted only at the Ramat Hovav dump site, and the cost of removal and treatment of such seriously fouled soil is extremely high. The Dudaim project, it is hoped, will make the cost of cleaning such soil less prohibitive.

The process at the site will include the use of bacterial agents, soaking, sifting and aeration of the soil, and the treatment will make use of solar energy, of which the area has an abundant supply during most of the year. The goal of the process is to reduce the amount of soil pollutants to levels that would allow the setting up of an authorized dump similar to Dudaim.