Jerusalem, Israel - Jan. 7, 2018 - Striking Jerusalem sanitation workers went back to work on Sunday afternoon. Monetary disagreements between Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat and Israeli Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon lasted long enough for trash bins around the city to overflow, but not reach crises levels of last year.
Immediately with the announcement, trucks began cleaning up Machane Yehudah Market, where discarded trash had started piling up on Thursday afternoon. Agrippas Street next to the shuk was closed to traffic as of Sunday morning.
The Jerusalem Green Fund volunteers from AACI, Association of American and Canadians in Israel, were out on streets in their green vests with bags cleaning up sidewalks in the Jerusalem neighborhood of Talpiot on Sunday morning. The cleanup in Talpiot was organized before the strike. According to Shalom Isaacson, previous Jerusalem cleanup campaigns had larger groups of volunteers, but timing could not have been better for this one.
A Jerusalem Green Fund Lobby was established by the Jerusalem Green Fund activist organization and individuals have been called to prepare a menu of issues to present to mayoral candidates. The issues cover all areas of urban life, public domain, transportation, development and urban sprawl, historic conservation, culture, nature, local food cycle, equity among urban sectors, besides sanitation and waste management.
The lobby's first meeting is to be held at the home of former Jerusalem Deputy Mayor, Naomi Tsur, Chair of the Jerusalem Green Fund, on February 5, 2018.
One volunteer mentioned that a driver of a Coke Cola truck was so impressed he gave them bottles of water. BJL was questioned about taking photos. When it was pointed out to the men how clean the street was during the strike, and that volunteers from AACI had been out, they nodded approvingly and smiled.
Jerusalem Green Fund volunteers posed in their green safety vests in the AACI office after working on today's clean up.