CBNNews.com - JERUSALEM, Israel - Efforts to encourage Israelis to recycle are increasingly successful.
At present, only 20 percent of Israeli trash is recycled.
And while the amount of garbage has tripled in the past five years, the country's landfills have been steadily shrinking.
Some of the factors contributing to the changing pattern include increased public awareness, new legislation, new recycling initiatives and economic incentives, both positive and negative. Several new laws are also beginning to make an impact.
For example, the government began taxing local councils for the garbage they dumped in landfills.
The estimated 200 million shekels (nearly $56 million) in tax revenues will be used to promote recycling, which at present includes glass and plastic bottles, newspapers and aluminum cans.
Another new law requires tire shops and importers to recycle worn-out tires and unused products.
Several private recycling initiatives have been started.
One, called Eretz Carmel, targets waste processing in residential areas, both in the city and in rural areas.
Residents are taught to separate dry trash -- newspaper, plastic containers, and glass -- from wet trash, mostly scraps from food preparation.
The company provides containers for the wet trash, often stored in gardens, which is collected periodically, composted and packaged for fertilizer.
Another new initiative by an environmental group involves opening a recycling center near the Hiriya landfill -- affectionately known as "Garbage Mountain" -- in central Israel. The company hopes to convert 200 tons of daily waste into usable energy.
And Israel's Environmental Protection Ministry is working on plans to transition from simple garbage collection to sorting stations for recyclable material.