Trying to recycle

November 11, 2011 - 9:58 PM by · 3 Comments
Filed under: design, Environment, General, Immigrant Moments, Israeliness, Life 

A newspaper recycling bin

When you’re familiar with the garbage disposal and recycling systems in Europe and the U.S., it can be frustrating to encounter, and, nay, live with the very limited recycling that happens at home in Israel. True, things have improved with the recycling cages into which you can dump plastic bottles and containers of all kinds. And the newspaper and magazine recycling is also decent, with containers that are fairly plentiful in most ‘hoods. (Although I find myself schlepping bottles and newspapers fairly far distances, as there are no cages near my house, and when I called the city to complain, they told me they were not the address for such complaints. Sigh.)

A plastic recycling bin

And, when you want to recycle things beyond paper and plastic, the only address is way over in Givat Shaul, about a 20-minute drive away in good traffic, where you can recycle everything, including old electronics, cans, tinfoil, you name it. So you can imagine my excitement when the playground near us, known as the ‘hursha‘, or small forest, although it really isn’t, opened a small orange-painted corner with a sign letting us all know that we can now recycle all our recyclables — batteries, glass, paper, cans — at the hursha. Thrilling!

The hursha is also the home for one of the local community gardens, where I bring my composting, when I’m feeling organized. So we waited and waited, for the bins to arrive. Finally, a friend called the City Hall information number listed, asking why there are no bins, and how it’s all meant to be divided and collected.

She was told by the clerk who answered the phone that “it’s not the city’s responsibility.” When my friend asked Molly, the 106 person, why the sign says to call 106 for comments, Molly replied, “Not this comment.”

It seems there is an agency handling this recycling — as is for the bottles and newspapers — and we’re meant to call them, even though we have no contact information for them. Frustrating. And oh, so typical. But I will remain hopeful and optimistic that the mere presence of a recycling area means that one day, the bins will arrive and eventually, we’ll be able to recycle curbside, just like our friends in the U.S. of A.


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