Istanbul has stepped up its recycling game in recent years. Last year, the Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality (İBB) recycled 700 million tons of garbage and produced 400 million kilowatt-hours of energy. Garbage that is regularly collected from 39 districts of Istanbul is brought to İBB's garbage collection site and they are sorted according to their materials. Once the garbage is sorted out they are either turned into energy or recycled for raw materials.
By producing 400 million kilowatt-hours of energy from garbage gas last year, the İBB contributed TL 250 million ($48.25 million) to the national economy. With the energy that is produced from garbage, Tesla's acclaimed electric car known as Roadster can travel around the world six times.
Speaking to the press, environmental engineer Ahmet Hamdi Zembil said, "The organic garbage is used to make fertilizer while the inorganic garbage is recycled to various materials and energy to contribute to the national economy. Recycling is a serious business and municipalities are the ones that handle the heavy work."
In recent years, Turkey has started to prioritize waste management over concerns of rising environmental damage with municipalities responsible for garbage collection upgrading their waste management systems.
How to produce energy from garbage?
Garbage collected by the district municipalities of Istanbul are brought to recycling facilities and sorted out according to the material. The garbage that is going to be used for energy production is buried under the earth and the garbage starts to decay. Once the garbage begins to decay, coal gas starts be produced. The gas then is carried through pipes that are installed underground and turned into motion energy with motors. The alternators that are inside the motors then turned the energy into electricity.