Waste disposal project in Turkey’s Aegean district delayed as EU withdraws grant
BODRUM – Doğan News Agency
DHA PhotosThe European Union (EU) has pulled its grant, worth 30 million Euros, for a solid waste disposal plant project, which was to be constructed in Turkey’s Aegean resort town of Bodrum, due to complications about on land allocation.
Turkey’s Aegean province of Muğla’s Bodrum district, which is a hot spot for both domestic and foreign tourists, has attempted to find a permanent solution to its problem of waste disposal for many years.
The construction project of a solid waste disposal plant, prepared by the Municipality Union of the Bodrum Peninsula (BOYAB), was signed by officials from the Delegation of the EU to Turkey, the Environment and Urbanization Ministry and the Bodrum Chamber of Commerce two years ago
After the agreement, the deputy head of the Economic and Social Development Section of the EU Delegation to Turkey, Virve Vimpari, had announced that the EU would provide a fund worth 30 million euros to Turkey for the construction of the integrated solid waste plant.
But it was soon discovered that 20 of the area’s 100 hectares, where the plant was to be constructed, was classified as a protected area.
Although there are various levels of “protected areas,” which are designated by the state to preserve historical, archeological and natural heritage, almost all of the levels ban construction, especially ones that involve heavy digging.
Bodrum Mayor, Mehmet Kocadon, who was elected on the Republican People’s Party (CHP) ticket, said with the end of the EU-funded project, the answer to the uncontrolled dumping problem had become a dream.
“The project, which was to be implemented in our district that brings $2 billion to our country every year, was also of great importance to protect the environment, nature and forests … [With the cancellation of the project,] solving the garbage problem of the uncontrolled dumping that has been ongoing in Bodrum has floated away,” Kocadon said.
Adding that the leftover 80 hectares of land would have sufficed for the plant, Kocadon accused Muğla’s Waterworks Authority (MUSKİ) of fettering their five-year efforts, after the authority claimed it would find a new non-protected area within its premises but failed to present any other options to date.
Aylin Giray, the head of the Muğla Metropolitan Municipality’s Environment Protection and Control Department, said despite the EU’s cancelling of their funding, they had presented a new project to be implemented in the district.
“We prepared a new project and presented it to the Environment Ministry for approval by stating that we could implement the project in the 80-hectare area that did not contain any protected areas. We expect the project, with its construction cost of 8 million Turkish Liras, to come to the tender stage in three to four months’ time. The facilities will be completed in 1.5 years and will be ready for operation,” Giray said.
Giray added that they would not wait another five years to find a solution to the trash problem, which caused great levels of danger due to the fires erupted, the bad smell and the environmental threat.
The project, with its integrated solid waste disposal processes, included the construction of two transfer centers and garbage seepage water refinement facility.