Istanbul, Turkey's largest city with a population of more than 14 million, also leads in garbage production but instead of eliminating it, the city is benefiting from recycling. Through recycling, the garbage finds a use in energy production and as an organic fertilizer for flowers in the city's parks and gardens.
Every day, some 17,000 tons of garbage are collected on the Asian and European sides of the city, which was once infamous for the heaps of garbage common in every street in the 1990s and a methane gas explosion at a landfill in Halkalı in 1993 due to haphazard waste dumping. Nowadays, the city's municipality focuses on different waste disposal techniques, especially sorting out the garbage in its source by installing dumpsters for different types of garbage and setting up large-scale recycling facilities.
Solid waste that produces landfill gas, which in turn produces 340 million kilowatts per hour yearly, helps address the city's energy needs. Power supplies capable of powering about 800,000 households are produced by landfill gas.
Waste also helps Istanbul's flowers as compost. A facility in the city's Kumburgaz district produces 20,000 tons of compost yearly, which is used in parks, gardens and the leafy traffic islands of the city.
The municipality is now working on a new project on biomethanation, which will contribute to renewable energy production. A biomethanation facility will be capable of producing 5.4 million cubic meters of biogas yearly.