Saving Our Environment, One Car at a Time
Did you ever wish that people driving clunkers would get them off the road and out of your way? The Israeli Ministry of Environmental Protection would also like old vehicles off the road and reinstated the Scrappage Project. The point of the project is to protect our environment by ridding the roads of old cars and trucks that are highly polluting. The project was initiated in 2010, and since that time Israelis have turned in more than 25,000 old cars and trucks. The current budget is some 6,000 vehicles each year, but that does not meet the public’s overwhelming response to the program. With 10,000 car owners waiting in line for the recycling project, it will be first come, first served.
The primary cause of Israel’s air pollution in cities is from fuel emissions. Older vehicles release 20 times more toxic fumes, such as carbon monoxide and hydrocarbons, into the environment than newer cars. In Israel, cars produced after 1995 are equipped with catalytic converters, which reduce these emissions. In line with the international recession of 2008, many cities in the world turned to scrappage programs to stimulate the car industry while doing something positive to protect the environment. There is no car industry in Israel, but the idea of bribing old car owners to remove their vehicles from the roads has been a popular one. According to Amir Zalzberg, from the Fuel and Transportation Department, it is better for everyone if those old cars are taken off the road rather than resold to someone who will continue to drive them.
If an old car meets the Scrappage Project requirements, the owner will receive NIS 3,000 to give up the vehicle. The Israeli Ministry of Environmental Protection takes possession of the car and hands it over to a junkyard, where it’s taken apart. The tires are reused to pave new highways, the glass, iron, plastic and lead are recycled and the toxic fluids under the hood are pumped into sealed containers. While older exhausts are being taken off the roads and we can finally inhale some clean air, the recycling industry is sure to profit from this innovation as well.