In 2021, a total of 559,000 tons of waste were collected in Jerusalem. This is the most waste collected from any local authority in Israel, yet when comparing generated waste in proportion to the number of residents in the large cities (those exceeding 100,000), Jerusalem is relatively low on the list, with 1.60 kg of waste collected per day per resident, surpassing only Bnei Braq (1.41 kg/person) and Beit Shemesh (1.59 kg/person). Among the large cities, the highest quantity of per capita daily waste collected in 2021 was found in Tel Aviv with 2.41 kg, and in Beersheba –  2.06 kg.

In recent years, the portion of collected waste in Jerusalem sent for recycling has risen considerably. In 2021, 224,000 tons were sent for recycling (mostly organic matter) representing 40% of the city’s collected waste; 335,000 tons were sent to landfills (60%). Among Israel’s larger cities, this is the highest recycling rate. Next on the list is Ramat Gan (38%), Bat Yam and Tel Aviv (37% each). On bottom of the list of cities that recycle is Beit Shemesh (6%) and Petah Tikva (9%).

In the years 2014-2021 the portion of collected waste in Jerusalem sent for recycling and recovery grew from 13% to 40%. By comparison, the increase in Israel nationwide grew from 18% to 24%, in Tel Aviv from 13% to 37%, and in Haifa – from 26% to 27%. The 224,000 tons of waste sent for recycling and recovery in Jerusalem in 2021 reflect a 287% increase from 2014, a much greater increase than nationwide (60%), in Tel Aviv (193%) and in Haifa (22%). A large portion of this increase in recycled waste in Jerusalem can be explained by the opening of the GreenNet Recycling and Waste Treatment Plant in Atarot, responsible for sorting and recycling a large part of the city’s waste.

Source: Jerusalem Institute for Policy Research analysis of CBS data