Join The Conversation With Mishpacha's Weekly Newsletter



Making a Landfill Bloom

Binyamin Rose

Itinerant Arabs once called it Ibn Ibraq, which many Jews assumed to be the Bnei Brak of the Haggadah. Its name was later changed to al-Hiriya — the good land — by Arab settlers in the early days of Israel’s statehood. Following a decade of environmental cleanup, Israel’s former landfill at Hiriya is scheduled to become the newest member of the country’s national park system shortly after Pesach.

Wednesday, March 09, 2011

From Hiriya’s newly green foothills to its gravelly summit 200 feet above sea level, a visitor can experience the heights of the beauty G-d bestowed on His land, as well as the peaks and valleys of human wastefulness, endeavor, and ingenuity.

On a sunny Tuesday morning, a Caterpillar tractor at Hiriya’s base shoves around the 3,000 tons of waste brought here every day, either for recycling, or transfer to newly opened landfills in the Negev. White herons fly in expectantly each morning from the nearby Ramat Gan Safari Park to roost atop the trash mounds and peck away for food, while hungry cats scavenge in the piles below, clawing for traction. At Hiriya’s various ecological facilities, 1,000 tons of industrial waste is pulverized and recycled every day into energy substitutes, road and construction material, and organic fertilizer. Another 200 tons of wood shavings and tree trimmings are shredded for mulch, while the tree trunks are sent to local artisans who convert them into garden furniture.

At Hiriya’s peak, the vista is purely G-d’s handiwork. Looking straight down, the fields are as verdant as can be until they give way to the gleaming white towers of the bustling Tel Aviv-Jaffa metropolis, and beyond that, the deep-blue-green of the Mediterranean Sea. A look over your shoulder in the opposite direction yields a vista of the rugged, grayish-brown Samarian mountain ridge, as far as the eye can see.

Constructions crews are working almost around the clock to prepare this panorama for the public in time for Hiriya’s scheduled May opening, at which point it will be better known by its newest name — the Ariel Sharon National Park. It has been a work in progress for the past thirteen years. 

“This mountain was created by every one of us,” says Danny Sternberg, the park’s former CEO and now a consultant to the park on environmental issues. “Everyone ‘contributed’ something to this mountain and now it’s time for the mountain to give something back to the people.”

 

To read the rest of this story, please buy this issue of Mishpacha or sign up for a weekly subscription.

Share this page with a friend. Fill in the information below, and we'll email your friend a link to this page on your behalf.

Your name
Your email address
You friend's name
Your friend's email address
Please type the characters you see in the image into the box provided.
CAPTCHA
Message


MM217
 
Evolution vs. Revolution
Shoshana Friedman I call it the “what happened to my magazine?” response
Up, Up, and Away
Rabbi Moshe Grylak What a fraught subject Eretz Yisrael is, to this day
Where Do You Come From?
Yonoson Rosenblum Could they be IDF officers with no Jewish knowledge?
Heaven Help Us
Eytan Kobre Writing about anti-Semitism should rouse, not soothe
Work/Life Solutions with Chedva Kleinhandler
Moe Mernick “Failures are our compass to success”
An Un-Scientific Survey
Rabbi Emanuel Feldman Are Jerusalemites unfriendly? Not necessarily
Out of Anger
Jacob L. Freedman How Angry Lawyer was finally able to calm down
5 Things You Didn’t Know about…Yitzy Bald
Riki Goldstein He composed his first melody at eight years old
When the Floodgates of Song Open, You’re Never Too Old
Riki Goldstein Chazzan Pinchas Wolf was unknown until three years ago
Who Helped Advance These Popular Entertainers?
Riki Goldstein Unsung deeds that boosted performers into the limelight
Your Task? Ask
Faigy Peritzman A tangible legacy I want to pass on to my children
Are You There?
Sarah Chana Radcliffe Emotional withdrawal makes others feel lonely, abandoned
A Peace of a Whole
Rebbetzin Debbie Greenblatt Love shalom more than you love being right
Seminary Applications
Rabbi Zecharya Greenwald, as told to Ariella Schiller It’s just as hard for seminaries to reject you