Illegal Arab garbage dump
Illegal Arab garbage dumpRegavim

The Civil Administration announced Tuesday that the Ramallah Municipality’s illegal 'corona dump' near Shaar Binyamin will be shut down and the criminals who created it brought to justice. Regavim demands that this mountain of untreated garbage, located at the head of the Nahal Makoch water basin, be removed.

After a months-long legal battle by the Regavim legal organization, the Civil Administration announced that it is taking steps to shut down the “corona dumping ground” created by the Palestinian Authority during the government shutdown at the start of the corona pandemic in the abandoned Tariffi quarry on Route 60. Thousands of cubic tons of raw waste were trucked from the nearby Arab municipalities of Ramallah and El Bireh, and unceremoniously dumped over the cliff into the quarry – creating a garbage mountain visible for miles.

Exploiting the corona shutdown and the furlough of inspection officers, thousands of truckloads of garbage were dumped huge amounts of garbage over the edge of the cliff into an abandoned quarry just off Route 60. With the help of new technology, Regavim proved that over 10,000 cubic meters of waste were dumped at the site. Adding insult to injury, when the corona shutdown was lifted, the dumping continued – and the additional garbage piles were burned, adding toxic fumes to the already noxious stench, massive soil and water pollution, and destruction of the landscape.

Regavim filed repeated complaints with the relevant authorities, and publicized the incident widely. At last, early this week, the Civil Administration announced that it is taking steps to enforce the law at the site, and that the illegal dump will be shut down. The statement released by the Civil Administration added steps were taken in May, in cooperation with the Binyamin Regional Command and the District Coordination Office, to apprehend the dumpers, and a number of trucks and a tractor were impounded.

"Better late than never. After weeks and weeks of dumping at the site, the Civil Administration has finally taken enforcement action and announced that it will ensure that Arab cities do not continue to dump their garbage into the quarry," said Yakhin Zik, Regavim's Director of Operations. "As is always the case when the law is broken, an ounce of prevention would have been far better than this half-measure ‘cure.’ Because the dumping was not prevented in the first place, there are still thousands of tons of garbage that need to be removed."

"The huge mountain of garbage that remains at the site is at the origin of the Nahal Makoch catchment basin, which flows into Nahal Prat," Zik emphasizes. "Beyond the direct and immediate pollution of the spot on which it sits, this illegal dump causes underground pollution and river pollution, and all of the damage to the ecosystem that goes with it: the implications for the health of the residents of the surrounding communities, for wildlife near the site and downstream, and more. We demand that the quarry undergo an immediate, significant clean-up. It is high time polluters be made to pay, even in Judea and Samaria."