An Israeli innovation is helping turn trash into clean burning biofuel.
Currently used in the off-grid Bedouin community of Umm Batin, the anaerobic biodigesters have even caught the attention of the United Nations’ Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon.
During Sukkot last year, Ban visited the sukkah of Israeli President Reuven Rivlin.
While there, he was also treated to a demo of one of Israel’s newest green inventions, a backyard device that turns trash into fuel.
According to Ami Amir, of HomeBioGas, the Secretary-General was “very excited” about the anaerobic biodigesters the government has provided to a group of Bedouin families living in the Negev.
“Millions of women and children die each year due to indoor smoke from open fires,” Ban told them. “This is just the thing they need. The UN should be purchasing these units!”
Ban also told HomeBioGas to get in touch with the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization to see when and where the biodigesters could be employed.
As a result, HomeBioGas has fielded inquiries from many countries around the globe interested in their environmentally friendly solution.
“We’ve received orders from various distributors in many countries, such as Australia, Nigeria and Costa Rica, that want to set up demo installations,” Amir told Israel 21c. “About 70 different countries are interested in establishing distributorships. So evidently we are answering a need.”
Back in Israel, the success of the Umm Batin pilot program as encouraged the government and NGO’s to place more biodigesters in areas without access to trash pick-up or public services.
The Peres Center for Peace in Jaffa recently purchased the biodigesters for communities in the West Back without trash pick-up.
The government has also purchased more units for Umm Batin and another Bedouin community in the Negev.
According to Amir Peretz, who was the Environmental Protection Minister at the time when the units were first installed in Israel and abroad in the Dominican Republic, the biodigesters are not just about eliminating trash, they are also about goodwill.
“We found a way to generate cooperation with the Bedouin population from remote communities who feel that as a result of this, the country cares about them,” Peretz said. “Therefore, the chances are great that this project will succeed and become a model for the world.”