Ariel Sharon Park
Ariel Sharon Park (Hebrew: פארק אריאל שרון) is an environmental park established on the former Hiriya (Hebrew: חירייה) waste dump located southeast of Tel Aviv, Israel. After accumulating 25 million tons of waste, the facility was shut down in August 1998. It is visible on approach into Ben Gurion International Airport as a flat-topped mountain. Three recycling facilities have been established at the foot of the mountain: a waste separation center, a green waste facility that produces mulch and a building materials recycling plant. The waste dump and its surrounding area have been renovated into a large park that is still under construction.
The landfill is located on the lands of the Palestinian village of al-Khayriyya, from which the name Hiriya is derived. The village, formerly called Ibn Ibraq, preserving the name of the ancient biblical site Beneberak, was renamed al-Khayriyya in 1924. According to Rachelle Gershovitz of the Israel Venture Capital Journal, the British authorities designated the area as Crown Land and plans were drawn up to use it as a draining plain to solve the annual flooding problem during the British Mandate. In the weeks prior to the outbreak of the 1948 Arab-Israeli War, its residents fled the village before advancing Haganah forces.
Earmarked as a dump in 1952, the site grew to be more than half a mile long and over 87 yards (80 meters) above sea level. The volume of waste was estimated at 16 million cubic meters. Calls to shut down the site mounted in the wake of the growing public awareness of environmental pollution, underground water contamination and the spread of noxious gases. Thousands of sea gulls and other birds attracted by the decomposing garbage created a hazard for commercial airliners taking off and landing at nearby Ben Gurion Airport.
In 1988, Hiriya ceased functioning as a waste landfill.
In 2004, an international competition was held calling for ideas on how to rehabilitate the mountain of garbage, turn it into a positive landmark and keep it from collapsing into the Ayalon riverbed.
A recycling facility operated by the Israeli company ArrowEcology has introduced a new technology known as ArrowBio  that separates recyclable materials using water technology. Eighty percent of the waste that enters the system is reused, while only 20 percent ends up in the landfill.
Hiriya currently houses the largest waste transfer station in Israel. Three recycling plants operate at the foot of the mound, grinding building waste into gravel and dry organic matter into mulch, and a patented mechanical biological treatment demonstration facility where municipal solid waste is sorted utilising the properties of water. The facility is a form of materials recovery facility including upflow anaerobic sludge blanket digesters for the provision of biogas which is in turn used to generate renewable energy utilising gas engines.
Garden waste is sorted, and tree trunks are sent to the Hiriya carpentry shop to be recycled into wooden furniture such as benches and garden accessories for use in the park. Sixty gas wells have been drilled at the site to collect the methane gas trapped in the landfill. The plant generates all the electricity required by the Hiriya site and sells the excess to the Israel Electric Corporation.
Ariel Sharon Park
Plans were subsequently drawn up to remediate the site and use the mountain and surrounding land as the centerpiece of Ariel Sharon Park . A 2,000-acre (8.1 km2) area was demarcated for the park during the term of Ariel Sharon, who was an avid supporter of the project. The planner is landscape architect and urban planner Peter Latz. The park was later named for Sharon. Latz has invented a technique to protect future flowers and fruits from contaminants: The landscape is being covered with a “bioplastic” layer that blocks methane, topped with layers of gravel and a meter of clean soil.
The park is currently under construction. When complete, it will be three times the size of New York's Central Park, and will introduce many new ecological technologies. A 50,000-seat amphitheater will also be built there.
In 2011, a short film about the transformation of the site, The Hiriya Project: A Mountain of Change, won first prize in the Clean Development Mechanism Changing Lives Photo and Video Contest sponsored by the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) in Durban.
- List of solid waste treatment technologies
- Mechanical biological treatment
- Constructed wetland
- Ramat Hovav
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- Ariel Sharon Park transforms ‘eyesore’ into ‘paradise’, Jerusalem Post
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- At Hiriya, garbage is not a waste
- Morris, Benny (2004), The Birth of the Palestinian Refugee Problem Revisited, Cambridge University Press, pp. xvi, 217
- new face for Israel's garbage park
- At Hiriya, garbage is not a waste, Alt Assets, 16 May 2007
- Hiriya Refuse Mountain Planning Competition - Ayalon Park
- How Green is My Landfill
- ArrowBio Process Finstein, M. S., Zadik, Y., Marshall, A. T. & Brody, D. (2004) The ArrowBio Process for Mixed Municipal Solid Waste – Responses to “Requests for Information”, Proceedings for Biodegradable and Residual Waste Management, Proceedings. (Eds. E. K. Papadimitriou & E. I. Stentiford), Technology and Service Providers Forum, p. 407-413]
- Dan Association of Towns (2004) A landscape vision, Ayalon Park - planning concepts and design strategies, summary of results and conclusions from the Ayalon Park International Charrette, Tel Aviv, Israel, January 2003
- An 'oasis' named Hiriya Haaretz, 5 May 2009
- Ariel Sharon Park transforms 'eyesore' into 'paradise'
- ‘Hiriya is symbol for solving problems’ Jerusalem Post