The School of Architecture Presents: A Groundbreaking Initiative to Automatically Transport and Sort Household Waste

Students from the School of Architecture presented a groundbreaking initiative in which sorted household waste will be automatically transported through an infrastructure of pipes to the sorting facility • The initiative was presented as part of a joint effort to create an environmental impact and a greener future in the Negev

A group of students from the School of Architecture, Be’er Sheva campus, presented a groundbreaking plan to change the way waste is handled in the Negev. According to the plan, which was prepared as part of a collaboration project with the Dudaim Recycling and Environmental Education Park in the Negev, the waste will be separated at source in the residents’ homes, and will be carried automatically, through a network of pipes, to the advanced sorting facility at Dudaim Park. 

The students Dor Edelshtein, Lior Attias and Ilanit Mankhaimov formulated a detailed plan,  including simulations of the new pipes and their deployment through the streets and homes in the Ramot neighborhood in Be’er Sheva. The plan will serve as a model that can be implemented going forward in additional areas in Israel. The project aims to change the habitat in the Negev and to create a continuum between the city and the sorting facility at the waste handling site. The students propose a series of additional steps, among them creating a walking route connecting the city and Dudaim Park for use of employees and the general public, rejuvenation of the Dudaim stream that passes in the area, and community development of agricultural areas between the city and the park.

The project is the product of a School of Architecture program in which groups of students joined together with leading organizations in the Negev to formulate projects that will change the living environment in the area. The Dudaim Recycling and Environmental Education Park in the Negev immediately mobilized after hearing about the plan, and invited the students to tour the Park and learn about the planning challenges posed by the waste crisis and possible solutions that involve the community.

As part of the project, Dr. Ray Vulkan, scientific development manager at Bnei Shimon Economic Corporation, came to SCE to give the students an overview of current research about construction waste, compost and other topics. Also, to enable the students to formulate a plan with engineering feasibility, Dudaim Park provided environmental engineering consulting, headed by the Ein Gedi Oasis from the Nimrod Halamish Consulting firm . Dudaim Park management also helped another group of students that planned houses from recycled materials.    

Dr. Galia Limor-Sagiv, who heads the sustainability field at the School of Architecture: “The projects which the students developed offer a new and healthy relationship between the city and its backyard, in this case the waste handling site, and between the residents and the waste they produce daily. At present we all turn our backs on our unnecessary and polluting materials, prefer to forget them and not to take responsibility for what we cause to the environment, nature and to those who live in the vicinity of these materials. The projects which the students presented compel us to squarely face the ramifications of our way of life and the consequences of the long-standing policy of neglecting nationwide waste handling and turning the Negev into the country’s waste infrastructure site. The SCE School of Architecture strives to challenge current thought patterns about planning and construction, such that environmental and sustainability values will be integrated into the architectural endeavor and help make our residential spaces healthier and more resilient in the face of the climate crisis”.   

Nir Bar-David, Director of Dudaim Recycling and Environmental Education Park in the Negev: “As an Israeli center for waste handling and recycling and a knowledge center, we attribute great importance to environmental education of the community and to joining forces with academia in order to create an impact. The future of the community in the Negev is intertwined with the future of waste handling. Dudaim Park acts to integrate the correct approach to waste among professional communities, already at the early training stages, and this definitely also holds true for the planning and construction field. Future planners must view environmental protection as a central value when formulating plans. We welcome the reality-changing plan the students presented, and look forward to as many technological and social developments as possible that will enable the State of Israel to surmount the worsening waste crisis”.