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Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Israel Turns 2,000 Acre Trash Dump into One of World's Largest Parks

by Brian Merchant

israel park hiriya mountain trash image
Image courtesy of Park Ayalon

For decades, Hiriya, a 2,000 acre garbage dump, has sat on the outskirts of Tel Aviv as an ecological and aesthetic blight. At its center was Hiriya Mountain—a massive 230 foot mound of waste. But after an intensive national revitalization effort the eyesore has reemerged as Ayalon Park, and the mountain is being transformed into an eco-tourism attraction replete with terraces, ridge groves and footpaths for hiking. When completed, it will rank as one of the largest metropolitan parks in the world.

Ayalon Park will serve as a 24 hour destination for recreation in Israel, as well as a learning center designed to educate visitors about recycling and other ecologically friendly practices.

israel park recycling center photo

Details on the rehabilitation are limited, but much of the project seems to have been made possible by a massive recycling center that wraps around the base of the giant trash mountain:

"The Recycling Center, which spans 75 acres, is located at the base of the "healed" mountain, and currently operates the most innovative technologies for recycling waste."

The center, currently operating, will be open to visitors curious about the massive recycling effort.

israel new park ayalon

Hiriya has been mostly abandoned since 1952, tended to only by sanitation staff—it received daily loads of trash from garbage trucks from around Tel Aviv. Now, incoming waste is instead sorted by the state-of-the art recycling facility, and Ayalon Park is expected to receive thousands of visitors a day.