The Big Felafel

Going Green and Recycling in Israel Part 3: What and where to recycle(online and real life)

Recycling in Israel often seems to lag behind recycling in America. For example, where can I recycle my yogurt containers? Cardboard? Glass olive oil bottles? I’m hoping people reading this will respond to these questions. In the meantime, I’ve collected some info about recycling that I’ve collected, which I’ve divided into online recycling and real life recycling.

Where to Recycle – Online

Image from Avi Rubin's blog

Thanks to the Green Prophet, here’s a list of websites to help you get rid of your stuff or find someone else’s for free. Who said going green had to be expensive? If you like digging for treasures, these sites are a definite find.

English sites

Hebrew sites

English and Hebrew site

Where to Recycle – Real Life

Check out this Janglo post, where someone compiled a post on what people found out about recycling in Israel. One person even went to the recycling plant and discovered which bottles the plants prefer to get (answer: clear bottles), which bottles are not really wanted (colored bottles), and what some of the plastic is used for (furniture).

Pikadon – Pikadon is the money you’ll receive for deposting certain bottles or cans. Check your bottle or can for the label. It’s important that you leave this label intact – some supermarkets can be really strict! For wine and alcohol, you’ll usually get 25 agurot, and for beer, you’ll get 25 agurot for the small bottles, and 1 shekel for the big ones.

Plastic Bottles (Soda, Water) – The big green grates located on practically every street in Jerusalem.

Paper – In Jerusalem, these are the the green bins with pretty painted pictures. Make sure to bring your camera – some of these bins are really creative.

Glass – you can take glass bottles to certain supermarkets. In Jerusalem, you can go to Mister Zol under the Mashbir, Mega and SuperSol Deal in Talpiot – I find Mega in Talpiot the easiest to deal with for this kind of thing.

Batteries – Bring to Merkaz Hamagshimim Hadassah, Dor Dor V’Dorshav 7A in the German Colony in Jerusalem. Tel: 02 561 9168

Old appliances and electronic devices – Drop it off at the Science Museum in Givat Ram, Jerusalem. As you enter the car entrance to the Museum, turn left. Visit Snunit Recycling for more info.

Jerusalem Municipality Recycling Center in Givat Shaul (on Givat Shaul Road opposite Herzog hospital) accepts clothing (torn and stained too) for recycling, as well as glass, electrical items, plastic bottles and bags, metal, glass, used cooking oil, etc.
Open Sun-Thu 10 am to 4 pm; Fri: 10 am to 2 pm
Phone: 02-6535944

If you have more info to contribute, please don’t hold back…

Everything I’ve learned about recycling and trying to go green in Israel. Part 2: Local Organic Produce and The Omnivore’s Dilemma

organi Sorry for the long delay in posting.. I’ve been growing increasingly addicted to twitter where I can post quick thoughts and because I’ve been reading The Omnivore’s Dilemma by Michael Pollan.

The Omnivore’s Dilemma actually really ties into my whole attempt to be a bit greener. This is possibly one of the best books I’ve ever read and I’ve been recommending and talking about it to anyone who comes within shouting distance. Pollan discusses 4 types of meals you can eat: industrial, industrial organic, organic/grass-fed farms, and hunting/gathering. It opened my eyes as to what I put in my body and brings a whole new meaning to “you are what you eat”.

And, like most things that you become aware of, you start seeing related information everywhere. I was checking Janglo last week and noticed that someone wanted to share the delivery cost from an local organic farm. I wrote to her and asked about 1,303 questions – what kind of food can you get? how much does it cost? when do they deliver? etc. She directed me toward Teva Habsor (1800- 25- 90- 90) which is an organic farm in the Negev. When I asked where exactly they were located, she said ‘in the Kassam region’. She said that usually explained it best to people. Pretty sad. But I guess life goes on. The farm sends out an Excel pricing sheet on Sundays and delivers to Jerusalem on Tuesdays; to Tel Aviv on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays; Negev area on Thursdays [from honey]. The best ‘deal’ from the farm seems to be a box of seasonal vegetables for 110 shekels which includes delivery. This seems a little steep, especially compared to the prices at the shuk. I guess a better comparison would be with the supermarkets, where the produce is unbelievably overpriced.

However, The Omnivore’s Dilemma talks about the bigger idea of cost, meaning that the prices at the shuk may seem cheaper but we end up paying for it indirectly. We pay for cheap produce through higher taxes for healthcare because of new food-related diseases, polluted water from insecticides and synthetic fertilizers, and fossil fuels used in the transportation of our food. Currently, I’m not sure that buying only organic is financially possible on an Israeli salary, but I’m excited to try it hopefully once a month and come home to a box of seasonal and locally made produce. Did I mention that this book was awesome?

Here’s a list of Organic Farms that deliver in Israel, thanks to Crunchy Greenola

Everything I’ve learned about recycling and trying to go green in Israel. Part 1: the big picture

As it turns out, Earth Day was yesterday, so I happen to be really on top of things without even being aware. I did know it was Earth Hour about a month ago thanks to Benji’s insight into a Tel Aviv event where stationary bikes powered a concert – highly amusing.

Going green is really trendy right now, at least in New York City which I visited less than 2 weeks ago, and slowly but surely, it’s starting to spread in Israel. I’ve always recycled my plastic bottles and papers without even thinking twice, but I never really ventured much beyond that. During my trip, it occurred to me that I could be trying a little harder. I noticed that during the course of hanging out with my friends in the big apple, the word tote starting popping up in conversations. “I have some extra totes, do you need one” “shoot.. I forgot my tote” This was the first time I heard my friends talking about totes and other things they’re doing to be more environmentally conscious.

So I joined in, packed a few totes and was determined to use them upon my return to Israel. However, when put to the test, I have to admit that cutting down on plastic bags in the shuk was not particularly easy. For one, plastic bags are one of the very few things you can get for free in Israel so people load up on plastic bags to their heart’s content. Personally, I couldn’t figure out how to weigh 30 tomatoes without using a plastic bag. Also, the fear of tomato juice forming at the bottom of my tote didn’t seem so appealing either. And I use the bags for garbage.. how does that factor in? I think I need an environmental coach to help me figure everything out. But, I’m not giving up, I will continue to use the tote as much as possible even though it doesn’t seem so practical at times. I’m open to suggestions on how to better use the tote. Now that we’ve said tote 7 times, I think we can move on – stay tuned for Part 2 where I’ll show you how to get down and dirty aka where and what to recycle.

Here’s some articles and blogs that might inspire you to change your habits and some articles that may depress you as you learn about the state of our environment. Either way, just being aware of everything that is going on is a huge step forward.

Recent headlines featured the following environmental concerns:

Recent initiative:

Not-as-recent but cool initiative:

For daily reading on environmental tips, I recommend the following blogs: