Dozens of truckloads of Israeli electronic waste – everything from old refrigerators to televisions to cell phones – find their way to Palestinian villages in the southwestern portion of the West Bank. Palestinians separate the components, and then reclaim and recycle the scrap metal and plastics. Circuit boards and cables, which cannot be readily reused, are typically burned to recover valuable metals. However, the burning, which often occurs in open pits, creates environmental hazards for both nearby Palestinian and nearby Israeli communities.
Sustainable Israeli Palestinian Projects (SIPP) is providing hands-on training in Israel and the West Bank, and technical assistance through both an Israeli NGO (Arab-Jewish Center for Equality, Empowerment and Cooperation – Negev Institute for Strategies of Peace and Development (AJEEC-NISPED) ) and a Palestinian NGO (Green Land Society For Health Development) on managing the waste processing in an environmentally and economically sustainable manner. Anne Peters of Gracestone Inc., a leader in the electronic waste management field, will be volunteering her time and experience to SIPP and the in-country NGOs for this project.
SIPP is helping to develop options and is looking for ways to provide more in depth and on-the-ground assistance.