The recycling of waste products in order to save raw materials and preserve the environment is a global principle that has long spread in the world, especially among developed countries. In the State of Israel, a number of companies are involved in recycling and specialize in various fields, including recycling plastic bottles, metals, cartons, packaging and even unsorted waste. In the following article we will present the most prominent recycling companies in the country, how they were established , for what purpose and how they operate today .
Israel’s leading recycling corporations
The leading and leading recycling companies in the State of Israel differ in their field of expertise. Below is an exhaustive breakdown of the largest corporations in the country, and the recycling industries in which each of them specializes:
- Corporation ELA: Recycling Corporation ELA specializes in recycling containers deposit, from its inception in 2001. This is a non-profit corporation, which provides collection and recycling services for manufacturers and importers, as part of their duties enshrined in the deposit. Among other things, the corporation collects bottles of beverages by placing specialized facilities in cooperation with sub-contractors on behalf of the local authorities, and processing more than 2.5 million containers at the company’s centers before transferring them to the recycling plants.
- Tamir Corporation: This recycling corporation serves the manufacturers and importers in Israel and assists them in fulfilling their obligations under the Packaging Treatment Law of 2011. This is a non-profit company recognized as a body officially recognized by the Ministry of Environmental Protection , Starting in 2011. TMIR is a member of EXPRA, the European umbrella organization for the packaging recycling corporations, which are owned by the industry and are not for profit.
- Assufta Corporation: Asfata Corporation was established in 2002, concurrently with the enactment of the Deposit Law, and specializes in the collection, sorting and recycling of beverage bottles. As part of its activities, the corporation collects about 100 million containers and bottles every year. The corporation has about 60 collection stations throughout the country, transporting the bottles collected through a fleet of 30 collection trucks to the company’s recycling site located in the north of the country. As of 2010, the company represents about 100 importers and manufacturers, and is responsible for reporting sales, collection and recycling to authorized bodies in the Ministry of the Environment, setting goals, meeting quotas and even paying fines for its customers.
- MAI Corporation specializes in the collection and recycling of electronic equipment . One of the challenges facing the corporation is finding ways to minimize the environmental cost inherent in collecting electronic waste, and streamlining its recycling and recycling processes as raw materials for the industry. As part of finding solutions for this, the corporation supports the development of technologies for advanced recycling and sorting processes. MAI was recognized in 2014 as a recognized body for the implementation of the Environmental Treatment of Electrical and Electronic Equipment and Batteries Act.
Profitability and various interests in recycling in Israel
The recycling sector in Israel is a highly profitable field, which includes several affiliates, according to recycled raw materials. The various environmental protection laws, which relate extensively to recycling and to the obligations that apply to various companies, together with the growing awareness of the importance of this issue among the public, lead to impressive prosperity in the field. The interests of the founders and owners of the recycling corporations and the other forces operating in the market in this field are, in some cases, more complex than can be assumed. For example, recycling company ALH focuses on the collection and recycling of beverage bottles, and is owned by the major beverage manufacturers in Israel. Ala Corporation provides its services in the field in a way that is defined as profit-free. Nevertheless, it is clear that from the point of view of the beverage companies, the savings of most of the deposit fees that they were supposed to pay on the bottles are very worthwhile. However, it is also clear that comfort plays a major role for recycling residents, as recycling facilities are more accessible than collection centers for a fee.
Interests that contradict the public interest and others who settle with it
In 2008, the Adam Teva V’Din Association submitted an application to the Antitrust Tribunal to cancel the existence of the recycling corporation ALH. The association argued that the corporation acted to limit the development of the recycling of bottles in the country economically, while the corporation rejected the claims, and stated that the goals they stood for are completely logical. Another example is a Tamir corporation. The Tamir corporation was created by virtue of the Packaging Law, which requires manufacturers and importers alike to take responsibility for the recycling of the products offered to their customers. The corporation was founded by the Manufacturers Association of Israel in order to create the required cooperation, which makes it possible to streamline handling of the duty of recycling the packaging and reducing it. Hence, this is a non-profit corporation, apart from that inherent in the efficiency of handling the duty of packaging recycling that applies to manufacturers and importers in the country.
The involvement of the criminal world in various recycling industries
It should be noted, however, that in recent years there has been a takeover by elements of the crime scene, mainly in the area of collecting cans, to the extent that they are divided into areas of protection according to the various crime families. Gradually, the crime organizations began to take control of additional recycling areas, including the waste disposal, burial and recycling sector. In addition, criminal organizations have been involved in recycling metals, in view of the significant price increases and the creation of a global shortage of metals. In this context, it is worth noting that the recycled metal is devoid of any indication of its origin. In addition, the metal recycling industry rolls huge sums around the world and is supported and financed by various organizations and governments. These circumstances constitute a kind of loophole that calls on the thief, when it comes to the world of crime, and makes the takeover of various recycling areas attractive to them.
Gaps and different attitudes regarding reporting on recycling rates
There are differences of opinion and positions regarding the accuracy of reporting by various bodies in the recycling sector on their compliance with the goals and quotas they set for themselves. For example, various sources claim that ALH reports on an increase in their recycling rates are inaccurate. On the other hand, some believe that the main factors contributing to the improvement in the rate of compliance with the quotas of ALA are financial incentives paid by it to the various chains in exchange for collecting beverage containers alongside determined enforcement activity on behalf of the Ministry of Environmental Protection. Another noteworthy example is the gap between the Ministry of Environmental Protection’s report on recycling rates of 20% in Israel, and Greenpeace’s position that only 15% of the household waste is recycled. The organization’s activists claim that the higher turnover rate is due to the inclusion of the components of industrial waste, used oil and scrap in the general calculation.
Government support for recycling corporations
In addition to the various positions regarding the accuracy of reporting on compliance with quotas and the problematic nature of the power struggles that were created in the country regarding this area of profits, it is clear that promotion of the recycling sector is a supreme interest for public welfare. Therefore, the Ministry of Economy and the Ministry of the Environment assist entrepreneurs who establish recycling plants in the country by allocating land for industry and granting a grant under the Encouragement of Capital Investments Law. These aid funds are granted to industrial plants and not to companies that produce energy from waste. About a dozen factories that meet these criteria were established in Israel with the help of these government resources, which join the pressure of regulation and the rise in the price of raw materials worldwide, as factors that increase the economic feasibility of recycling initiatives.