Illegal dumping of toxic waste (update)

Last week, on September 17, several eyewitnesses reliably identified certain people removing hazardous waste from T.A.M.I. and illegally dumping it, in violation of the 1984 environmental law. This is a serious violation (legally the violator is potentially subject to heavy fines and also prison time). It has already been reported to the Tel Aviv municipality (we have a case number) and a complaint to the Environmental Protection Office is pending. Rest assured, we take this kind of thing seriously and the people responsible will not get away with it as if nothing happened.

TAMI is open to everybody, and part of our advertising of the space (and the way it actually is) is about serving the community, and concentrating smart people in order to create solutions to problems. It is not just talk: T.A.M.I. members have worked on projects touching air pollution, water pollution, advanced agriculture, and other stuff. It is the exact opposite of our mission, and completely unacceptable, for our name to be associated with bad stuff like toxic waste or contributing to environmental damage. Imagine reading that in the newspaper.

This is a good time to remind everybody about safety. Due to some of the “industrial” processes at work in the space, it is full of dangerous (if misused) machines, electrical equipment, and toxic/dangerous (if misused) chemicals. Some examples are all the paints, oils, solvents, acids/bases/salts/other chemicals, bio stuff, batteries (we have lead, lithium, cadmium, all kinds), broken electronics (these are pretty much 100% not recyclable and not throwable and need special disposal), you name it. For the most part, people work in the space responsibly (including eye/ear protection, ventilation, and cleanup afterwards), but, like we said, guests are welcome and there is a reason some of the machines (like the table saw) are locked. The basic principle of safety is to prevent accidents — we don’t need or want to deal with the aftermath of incidents like the topic of this message; we want to 100% prevent them from happening in the first place. If you see anybody doing something bad, stop them!!! And if there is something going on that you would not be happy with in your own house, or that you would worry about inspectors walking in the door at any time and seeing, obviously it should not be happening. To put things in perspective, people bring their little kids and dogs and cats into TAMI all the time, eat and drink there, and that should be completely OK.

כמדומני כל מה שנכתב בפסקה האחרונה עדיין בדיון.

עם כל הכבוד לרצון הטוב, זה ממש לא יפה להציג את זה כהחלטה.


אין “החלטה”, ואולם עובדה שאכן נכנסים לעתים בעלי חיים וילדים, בליווי מבוגרים כמובן.

While being eco-friendly is definitely a core TAMI value IMO, this post sucks in so many ways it makes addressing the matter hard.

  • “…several eyewitnesses reliably” - who? you are posting anonymously, can at least one volunteer his name to back these allegations?
  • “…identified certain people” - who? how many? are they TAMI members?
  • “…removing hazardous waste” - what? how much? a teaspoon?
  • “…illegally dumping it” - where? how?
  • “…in violation of the 1984 environmental law” - are you a lawyer? does this help make your point?
  • “…potentially subject to heavy fines and also prison time” - do you really need to threaten with prison time by the 3rd sentence?
  • “…already been reported to the Tel Aviv municipality” - has anything been done before running to the authorities?
  • “…a complaint to the ~EPO is pending” - should we feel cozy given such legal (over) reaction?
  • “Rest assured… the people responsible will not get away” - is this part of a shock and awe campaign?

I’d hate to see TAMI involved in causing environmental damage, but bringing this matter up in such a way does not help our community.

As an alternative to an endless thread I suggest we bring it up in the next members meeting.

התכוונתי לחלק של נעילת ציוד וכו’.

והיה נחמד אם הייתי יכול לשייך שם לאנונימי…

All this stuff is deliberately anonymous. We are not here to name and shame people, rather to be positive. And there is no distinction between “TAMI members” and any random people that walk through the door, anybody who works here is an equal “TAMI member”, that is partly the point.

As for this locking equipment stuff, it has been discussed to some extent in member meetings. Of course nothing “official” has been “decided”, the point of the comment is the factual statement that there is at least one saw with a big lock on it right now because the person who brought it in got tired of people destroying the table saw (also band saw) on a regular and frequent basis and leaving it like that. In other words, apparently, and unfortunately, enough bad stuff happened that someone took it upon themselves to lock the saw that they brought in.

You are right, there is no need for an endless thread or maybe even a thread at all, but it does no harm to remind people about safety practices and proper environmental practices, and it is perhaps good to go on the public record—keeping in mind (see the comment above) that there is no such thing as an official TAMI hive mind, dictator, parliament, or committee of members—that some people here, as evidenced by ongoing projects, lectures, and exhibitions, take stuff like environmental damage 110% seriously.

Mr. Anonymous, I fear that over the long run your actions will cause more harm than good.

It may be a teachable moment for that individual if it all went down as described but nothing good will come out of it for the environment.

In fact, you and I would do more to the environment if we would go plant some trees instead of issuing complaints or replying to them.

Hi all,
I dont know what happened but is is a shame that there is a boiling discussion.
Dont blame people but try to improve things!
Have a toxic-wate box somewhere and order all persons to put their
waste into the box but with the original containers! No pouring of
waste into the box!
Then someone who has his turn goes to the municipal waste disposal
service and brings along the box for disposal of the contents. The box
shall be a closed plastics box.
Be excellent to each other!

Shanah Tova!


My actions? You do realize that people in the building (not from TAMI) complained, and that at least one city inspector was here?

You are welcome to say this kind of stuff to the judge/inspector/cops/other officials who will come to close TAMI if this kind of activity is allowed to happen.

Just yesterday, somebody threw a working LED blinker, batteries and all, into the regular trash inside TAMI. It was really fun picking it out of the garbage.

  1. Not cool!?!?! Especially after all the trouble and attention
  2. If you think that you can do this, you are wrong. Note, bins are provided for hazardous materials disposal; if you can’t find one then add a new one. Toxic liquid spills should also be neutralized/disposed of according to the data sheet, for example this could involve soaking up the spill using special sand and towels and treating the cleanup materials as solid chemical waste.