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The National Planning and Building Council has approved a proposal for turning the Hiriya garbage dump into part of an 8,000-dunam park and recreation area at the southern entrance to Tel Aviv. A large mountain of trash still towers at the site, where millions of tons of garbage were deposited up until 1999.

In addition to Hiriya, the proposed park complex will also include lands of the Mikve Israel agricultural school and Park Darom in Tel Aviv. The plan was initiated by the Interior Ministry, in cooperation with the Ministry of Environment.

The plan includes pedestrian and bike paths, playgrounds and sport facilities, a community center, food and entertainment facilities, and an open theater on the slope of the Hiriya garbage site. At the same time, the plan seeks to provide environmental solutions for drainage and pollution problems in this area, including seasonal flooding.

According to the Interior Ministry, the mayors of all the neighboring communities - Tel Aviv, Ramat Gan, Bnei Brak, Holon and others - have expressed support for the plan and have promised to help raise the funds required to establish and operate the park.

The initial source of funds will come from the Mifal Hapayis lottery, which will allocate some NIS 1.4 million to help with planning and legal actions required to get the project started. The project is expected to take some 10 years to complete and will cost $100-150 million, according to Mifal Hapayis chairman Avraham Katz-Oz.