July 22nd 2010 : Still doing Israel's Dirty Work: Veolia's Tovlan landfill in the Jordan Valley

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As Corporate Watch has previously reported, Veolia run the Tovlan landfill site in the occupied Jordan Valley as well as provide rubbish collection services to numerous settlements in the area. Whilst the company’s involvement in the East Jerusalem tram line project has gained world wide infamy, their operations in the Jordan Valley have as yet not got them into as much trouble. However, their very direct support of the settlement infrastructure in one of the most vulnerable areas of Palestine prove that they are more than willing to profit from Israel’s brutal occupation as long as they can get away with it. In recent correspondence with critics of their conduct Veolia have downplayed their business in the Jordan Valley, claiming that their site there is no longer operating. On a recent trip there Corporate Watch decided to pay them another visit to see if we could prove them wrong…

Arriving at the site it is immediately obvious that Veolia’s idea of a non functioning site and ours differ greatly: The logo of Veolia subsidiary ONYX still marks the entrance and trucks enter frequently to unload tonnes of rubbish. A short interview with a worker who has been employed there for ten years confirmed that things are indeed as they seem. When asked if he has experienced any decrease in Veolia’s business lately he said: “Last year we had a bit less traffic than the year before”, “We received maybe 3-400 tonnes of rubbish a day, but now we get more. In fact, since April of this year we are getting around 6-700 tonnes a day and that is supposed to continue”. He told us that the increase in waste comes from Afula, a city of 40,000 inhabitants inside Israel. According to him, their waste used to get dumped in a landfill in Tiberias, which has now closed down. He also said that they get one truck of waste a day from Petach Tikva, another city in Israel.

The day after our visit to Tovlan we spotted yet another Veolia truck entering a settlement for the purpose of rubbish collection, this time in Beqaot.

*Note that names have been withheld to protect the workers.

A video of work continuing at the Tovlan site can be found here: www.sendspace.com/file/obfl2r

For Corporate Watch's previous articles on Veolia, see: http://corporateoccupation.wordpress.com/2010/03/31/veolia-taking-out-israels-trash/ and http://corporateoccupation.wordpress.com/2010/01/28/veolias-dirty-business-the-tovlan-landfill/