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My sprinkler runneth over

by greg June 03 2008
EnvironmentCity planningMunicipal news

 Sacher Park sidewalk irrigation

Nearly every morning the municipality waters not only the lawns of Sacher Park, but its pavement as well. We know how important it is to keep the park nice, especially after the weeks of abuse it has taken during the spring holiday season, but with the Sea of Galilee at dangerously low levels, it would be nice if the Jerusalem city government would take water consumption a bit more seriously.

While the municipality may be a little too lenient with our water, there are reports of solid plans to use our refuse. Yes, as is the custom of Jerusalem City Hall, a great plan has been put in order! This time the plan is to use the methane gas from the Abu Dis trash dump. So much methane is produced by our garbage that the trash dump has decided to offer us something in return. As reported by YNet:

An examination by the Afik Company on behalf of the municipality showed that considerable amounts of methane can be drawn from the dump. According to estimates, this amount would be 84,755 cubic feet per hour – to suffice in producing electricity for thousands of consumers. The factory producing and selling this form of electricity to the Israel Electrical Company is expected to earn about $5.4 million in profits. Methane is accumulated during the decomposition process taking place in dump sites over several years. By inserting pipes deep into the dump, the gas can be pumped and turned into energy.

So we're going to outsource a plant to take energy from our trash and sell it to the Electric Company. And who will ultimately profit from the project? Will Jerusalemites see their electric or arnona (municipal tax) bills going down anytime in the near future? Don't hold your breath.

Photo of Sacher Park's well-watered sidewalks by Greg Tepper.

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