Clean City – Israel

Today, Israel is the world’s second-largest producer of household waste per capita. Israel produces 4.82 million tons of solid waste annually, according to the August 2019 edition of Globes. These are food scraps, paper and cardboard, cigarette butts, disposable plastic dishes and bags, packaging, glass, plastic, broken toys and clothes, leather, rubber, light bulbs, batteries, various metals, appliances, various household utensils and much more. The inexorably growing amount of garbage in landfills increases toxic gas emissions, pollutes the air and groundwater, and causes irreversible ecological damage. The author of the article notes that in the construction sector the situation is even worse: annually less than half of the 4-5 million tons of construction waste is recycled.

In addition to the government’s failure to deal with the problem of recycling, many residents of Israel cannot cope with sorting waste, and some of our fellow citizens have difficulty taking their trash to the trash garbage can or container.

Our communities are not competing for the status of the cleanest city, but for a place in the ranking tables of the most polluted cities in Israel and the world.

Every day we walk down the streets and see a huge amount of trash on sidewalks and parking lots, playgrounds and parks, between houses, on city stairs and sidewalks. On weekends, we go to rest on nature or the beach and there we see the same picture – mountains of garbage left behind by vacationers.

We decided we couldn’t go on like this.

Who are we?

Dor Moriah initiated Clean City Israel and organizes cleanup events in Haifa, attracting new returnees and old Haifa residents who care, and collaborating with other cleanup projects in the city. As part of Clean City, there is a sub-project called “Walking Haifa”: walks along green city routes to introduce returnees to Haifa’s nature. During these walks, we also pick up trash and clear the trails.

Our goal:

Our main goal is a clean Israel.

Our tools:

  1. Attracting as many volunteers as possible to our actions.
  2. Drawing the attention of residents to the problem of urban pollution.
  3. Comprehensive pressure on municipal authorities to develop a functioning system of fines, install a sufficient number of trash bins in public places and at bus stops, including bins for separate waste collection, control municipal employees who clean and dispose of trash in the city.
  4. Developing a community outreach program aimed at developing a sense of intolerance towards throwing garbage on the ground and out of windows.
  5. Developing and introducing a “Cleanliness Lessons” program in schools and kindergartens with the help of volunteers, in cooperation with municipal authorities.
  6. Helping residents of houses where neighbors systematically throw waste out their windows and pollute their neighborhoods (informational support, assistance in filing complaints with the mayor’s office, assistance with cleaning the area, assistance in electing the “vaad abayt” house committee).
  7. Every Neighborhood Dog Playground Program. Objective: Remove dogs from playgrounds and require residents to clean up after their animals on sidewalks.
  8. Initiating the promotion in the Knesset of a law on local self-government and self-organization of the population (va’ad shunati), which would be authorized to cooperate with the municipal authorities and to solve the problems of both the entire neighborhood and individual households in the neighborhood. Building a network of cooperation “vaad abayt” – “vaad shunati” – municipality.

Questions and Answers (by Haifa):

What do I do if I see a lot of trash on public property?

Take a picture or make a short video, send a message on WatsApp of the mayor’s office with the coordinates of the location of this trash. If your street is not cleaned, send some photos and the name of the street, you can write how many days there is no cleaner. The WatsApp number for City Hall is +972 50-583-11-06.

What to do if there are dogs constantly walking on the playground/under the windows whose owners do not clean up their excrement?

To complain to the citizens’ appeal service at 106 or photo/video + coordinates of the place on WatsApp andria +97250-583-11-06.

What to do if the janitor does not clean up, leaves a lot of trash after himself, or even sits on the phone during working hours?

Take a picture or make a short video, send a message to WatsApp and with the coordinates of the location. The WatsApp number for City Hall is +972 50-583-11-06.

What if the tenants in our building throw trash out the windows, don’t want to pay the vaad allowance, or if your building doesn’t have a vaad allowance at all?

Call us. Calls to the mayor’s office could result in a fine of tens of thousands of shekels on your house. One litterer, and everyone has to pay. We are currently developing a methodology for dealing with such situations. In any case, you will have to clean it yourself. If you can’t handle it, call for help.

What to do if complaints to City Hall are not handled or there is no response to them?

Send a message with the complaint number to the e-mail of the City Hall Department of Citizens’ Appeals: Describe the problem. Send a duplicate of the complaint to our email.

Project Manager Olika Navrotskaya