A new biogas conversion facility was recently inaugurated in Be’er Tuvia, a mosahv in southern Israel.
The facility aims to turn livestock waste – such as cattle-shed, hen-house and other organic waste – into elasticity.
The biogas installation was built by Eco Energy with an investment of NIS 10 million roughly $2.55 million).
Agriculture Minister Orit Noked attended the ceremony, as did Be’er Tuvia Council Head Dror Shor.
“This facility will provide solutions from both the farmers and the environment. Projects like this will free us of pollution power plants,” Shor told Tashtiot trade magazine.
Eco Energy owner Shay Levy added that, “The facility is based on innovations at the forefront of technology. We have people from Europe already exploring collaborations and we are looking into the possibility of building similar facilities overseas.”
The new biogas facility is expected to process dung produced by 10%-15% of the cattle-sheds in Israel, therefore significantly decreasing nuisances such as odors and flies, as well as preventing the pollution of underground water sources.
The Be’er Tuvia facility joins two other biogas facilities that are already operational in northern Israel.
Its output is set to be 4 megawatts of electricity – enough to power 6,000 homes.
The popular WAZE smartphone navigation app recently introduced a new feature – a water pollution detector.
The feature aims to tell users if the lake or river they pass by or intend on swimming in while hiking or camping across Israel, suffers from pollution.
The feature is the brainchild of the app’s architects and Zalul Environmental Association, which is dedicated to the protection and preservation of Israel’s seas, rivers and lakes.
WAZE users passing by a polluted waterway see a pop-up window on their smartphomes’ screens, telling them it is polluted and naming the parties known to be responsible for the pollution.
Zalul said that the campaign is meant to raise the public’s awareness to the growing problem of river pollution in Israel.
The feature, launched just before the High Holidays, has so far sent out over 120,000 alerts to users, and had recorded 820,000 “points of exposure.”
Zalul Spokesman Rami Sadeh said that according to the group’s data, none of Israel’s 14 rivers flowing into the Mediterranean Sea are unfit for swimming.
Zalul said that the campaign also aims to increase pressure on the Energy and Water Ministry and the other relevant authorities to stop giving industries permits to pump waste into Israel’s rivers, as well as demand increased enforcement against polluters.
Zalul CEO Maya Jacobs added that river pollution “Is an ongoing failure by the government, local authorities and private companies, which see rivers as a sewage pipeline and not a unique public asset.
“The majority of Israel’s rivers and lakes are polluted with swage that is drastically harming the environment and risk the public’s health.”
Zalul’s job, she added, “Is to remind the public that it has the right to demand clean rivers and demand that the government see to it.”
The Water Authority offered the following comment: “Israel is one of the world’s leaders in the field of wastewater recycling and reclamation.
“This action is subject to very clear guidelines as to the quality of water that can be re-pumped into waterways.” The treated wastewater reintroduced into Israel’s rivers and lakes, the Water Authority said, “Meets these strict guidelines.”
Without the reintroduction of treated water to rivers, the Water Authority said, “Many of Israel’s rivers would simply dry up.”
Some moments in life help put everything in proportions. Stepping outside the Kisumu Airport in Kenya and heading towards Lake Victoria was one of those moments.
Lake Victoria, or “Nam Lolwe,” in Luo, is one of the African Great Lakes. Hanning Speke, the first European to discover this lake in 1856, named it after Queen Victoria.
With a surface area of 68,800 square kilometers, Lake Victoria is Africa’s largest lake by area, and it is the largest tropical lake in the world. It is the world’s second largest freshwater lake by surface area; and the world’s ninth largest continental lake. It is also shared by three nations – Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania.
For hundreds of years, the area’s impoverished residents – who are devoid of any real infrastructure, electricity and running water – have relied on the lake for their food and livelihood.
According to assessments, some five million people are dependent on this great source of life in Kenya alone, turning them, unfortunately, into one of the world’s poorest and most ailing populations.
Numerous mistakes have been made since the lake’s discovery by the white man, turning the area from one bustling with life, to one struggling with muddy waters – literally – and one that can only barely sustain the lives of those dependant on it.
Israel will take part in the regional leg of the World Cleanup 2012 initiative, which scores of volunteers cleaning up en masse cities’ streets on Thursday.
Israel has been taking part in the imitative for the past 11 years.
The World Cleanup 2012 project, which sees various nations “clean up” as part of the global community’s efforts to increase individual environmental awareness, began on March 24th and is expected to end on September 25th.
Some 120 nations joined the initiative in 2012, racking up 24,563 “waste points.” Israel scored four points.
Thursday will see some 250,000 volunteers – schoolchildren, soldiers, students, youth movement members and private citizens – supervised by the Jewish National Fund (JNF), will spread across 120 municipalities in Israel and take part in various cleanup activities in forests, parks and other open spaces.
According to the JNF, the Israeli leg of the project was made possible with the assistance of JNF USA and JNF Australia.
The JNF will mark the day with a special ceremony in the Switzerland Forest, in Tiberias, which will be attended by JNF World Chairman Efi Stenzler, Environmental Protection Minister Gilad Erdan and Education Minister Gidon Saar.
Other dignitaries who will be attending include US Ambassador to Israel Dan Shapiro, Australian Ambassador to Israel Andrea Faulkner and Tiberias Mayor Zohar Oved.
The Australia-based Clean Up the World organization was founded in 1993 in cooperation with the United Nations Environmental Program (UNEP). The Jewish National Fund joined the UNEP in 2001.
The cabinet authorized the “Green Government Project” last week, which will see the various ministries adopt eco-friendly practices for their daily operations.
The Environmental Protection Ministry, which spearheaded the initiative, said the new regulations’ implementation is likely to save the government NIS 20 million (roughly $5 million) a year.
According to the ministry, the project’s pilot, launched in 2011, which had ministries use less power and water and opt for biodegradable office supplies, saved the government NIS 12.3 million ($3 million).
“This serves as yet another proof that green consumerism is good for the budget as well as for the environment,” Environmental Protection Minister Gilad Erdan said.
“The public’s money does not have to be wasted because of old-fashioned, polluting behavior.”
The Green Government Project will require ministries to increase their use of green supplies by 5% in 2013 and by up to 20% by 2020.