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The Hiriya trash dump and the Nesher cement factory are launching a joint initiative to solve some of the country's garbage disposal problems, reduce air pollution and create electricity for the factory. They mean to use paper trash not suitable for recycling to produce electricity.

The Dan Region Association of Towns, Sanitation and Waste Disposal, which maintains Hiriya, announced this week that it is planning a waste-sorting facility, to be built early next year.

The facility will take non-recyclable cardboard and paper waste, which is currently being buried in landfills in the south, and will burn it as fuel.

Dan Region Association chairman Doron Sapir said the facility will be able to handle 1,500 tons of garbage per day. That is about half the amount produced in the Dan region.

The sorting process will enable many types of waste to be recycled, he said.

One-third of the intake will be burned as fuel for the cement factory, in place of diesel or mazuth, which pollutes the air.

"Burning the waste for fuel will substantially reduce the amount of mixed waste sent to landfills, and will also reduce air pollution emitted from the industrial facility," Sapir said on Tuesday.

Experts from the Frankfurt municipality will help the Tel Aviv-Jaffa municipality supervise the process, Sapir said.

The facility will also depend on household waste sorting in order to be efficient. The Israel Union for Environmental Defense, Adam Teva V'Din, says that organic (food) waste constitutes 40% of all trash produced in Israel, but all but 7% of it winds up in landfills. The association says this figure is expected to improve once sorting facilities are established.

The association says the Environmental Protection Ministry currently has more than NIS 100 million in its sanitation fund, and says it should use it to invest in waste-sorting systems for bodies including households, as well as increasing the capacity of existing sorting facilities.