Istanbul Municipality's (IBB) environmental cleaning project has successfully collected 140 trucks of waste from sea surfaces in the last 8 months amid concerns of increasing environmental damage.
The project has been carried out by the Environmental Protection and Control Department and premier waste management company ISTAC, and cleaned by locally-manufactured sea surface machines and sea bins.
Teams consisting of captains, sailors and machinists have managed to clean waste and garbage from 5 million square meters around Istanbul to send them to the ISTAC garbage collection site.
Last year, the IBB 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 the IBB's garbage collection site and then is sorted according to their materials. Once the garbage is sorted out they are either turned into energy or recycled for raw materials.
To decrease damage to the environment, especially in the Bosporus, Marmara Sea and the Golden Horn (Haliç), cleaning services and machinery have been utilized.
Turkey's recycling drive has saved 30 million trees in 15 months, according to the Environment and Urban Planning Ministry's Undersecretary Mustafa Öztürk, who said more than 1.7 million tons of waste paper and cartons were recycled last year and within the first three months of 2018.
The IBB continues to arrange seminars around the city and in various schools to highlight the significance of environmental cleaning.
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.