Zero-waste town to be built in Turkey
ANKARA - Erdinç Çelikkan
Turkey has laid the groundwork to build a zero-waste town in a bid to fight environmental pollution.
Officials are analyzing 951 districts in Turkey’s 81 provinces to find the most suitable town for the zero-waste project.
The town, to be selected by the Environment and Urbanization Ministry, will be a pioneer for Turkey and, if successful, will extend to other parts of the country.
The ministry is set to carry out works to raise awareness regarding this issue in the selected town and provide equipment and expertise support to the locals.
Within the scope of the project, wastes will be separated according to their categories in the chosen town and the organic wastes will be turned into compost which can be added to soil to help plants grow. Making compost keeps food scraps and yard waste out of landfills where they take up space and release methane, a potent greenhouse gas.
Furthermore, electric vehicles will be used in the chosen town in order to curb carbon emissions.
Officials will place reverse vending machines in the town that accepts used empty beverage containers (plastic, metal, and glass). Once the locals deposit beverage bottles into the machines, their mobile phones will be topped up with minutes of free calls or internet data.
The zero waste project, commenced in 2017, was first realized by first lady Emine Erdoğan and aims to save 20 billion Turkish Liras (around $ 3.8 billion) and provide jobs for at least 100,000 Turkish citizens by 2023.
Japan’s rural Kamikatsu town in 2003 had undertaken the zero-waste program to eliminate the damage done to the environment from waste incinerated. Around 80 percent of Kamikatsu’s waste is recycled, reused or composted. By 2020, the town aims to be utterly zero-waste.