Northern Command brass recently presented a series of initiatives aimed to make IDF bases in the area more environmentally friendly. "Until recently the Northern Command was considered a major polluter especially of ground water," says Sergeant Major Roni Manachem, who heads the environmental services department of the command. "We launched the project in 2003 and this past year we started to see the results."
One of the hazards the project initiators target are the bases' gas stations. Most were dismantled and replaced by regional stations that comply to strict environmental regulations of the Ministry of Environmental Protection. "We came up with a creative solution; we collect the anti-freeze fluid in special containers and transport them to Ramat Hovav Industrial Park where it is treated by professionals and do not pollute the air or the ground water."
Another initiative involves the gradual replacement of all the heating systems in the Northern Command bases by gas-operated ones.
Two of the command's units received a special award for protecting the environment from the Chief of Staff: one for recycling iron in the Golan Heights area, and the other for adopting parks which the soldiers voluntarily clean.
"There is a lot more to do and we'll continue throughout 2007," Menachem concludes. "With the support of the Ministry of Environmental Protection and the soldiers, we plan on incorporating many more green elements into the command."