HEBRON (Ma’an) — Several landfills in Hebron were shut down this week, officials said Saturday, as part of an ongoing project to improve waste management in the southern West Bank.

The closures were part of a plan by the council for waste management in the Hebron and Bethlehem districts, to shut down a total of 17 sites they say were not properly organized, or harmful to health and the environment.

Te council’s executive manager, Yaser Ad-Duweik, said landfills near Sa’ir, Ash-Shuyukh and Bani Na’im in the Hebron district were closed following meetings with local bodies who used them.

A central refuse site will be established on a 235-dunum area near Al-Maniya village south of Bethlehem, Ad-Duweik explained, replacing the locally-managed sites.

The new landfill was planned to meet international environmental and health standards, and should be completed within two years, the official added.

The project was funded by the World Bank, the EU, the Italian Cooperation and USAID, and will include awareness-raising programs and capacity building initiatives.