More funding for Turkish cities to process solid waste

HAZAL ATEŞ
ISTANBUL
Published 07.06.2019 00:12

Municipalities will be funded around TL 2.5 billion by the state by the end of year to fight solid waste. Environment and Urban Development Minister Murat Kurum said they have been running 18 projects in 12 cities for the disposal and recycling of solid waste, and the funds will be used to help municipalities. "We aim to reach out to the entire population by 2023," Kurum said.

The funds are used for the safe disposal and recycling of solid waste in facilities operated by municipalities.

Turkey has stepped up the fight against waste since the Justice and Development Party (AK Party) came to power more than a decade ago. The number of solid waste storage facilities, which numbered only 15 in 2002, rose to more than 100 in that period, and those facilities serve to store and dispose waste from a population of 55 million. The government has provided municipalities with more than TL 2 billion in the last 16 years for waste disposal.

The country took great strides in the fight against waste after it launched the "zero waste" campaign under the auspices of first lady Emine Erdoğan two years ago. Turkey's recycling drive since then has saved more than 30 million trees. More than 1.7 million tons of paper waste and cartons were recycled last year and within the first three months of 2018, according to the latest data.

Under a new draft bill, every business or public institution will be required to receive a zero-waste certificate that will evaluate how they comply with the new policies. The bill also makes it mandatory for municipalities to set up facilities for collection of waste separated at its source. For large cities, garbage disposal units for the storage of recyclable materials will be placed every 400 meters, and mobile units will be placed in neighborhoods to pick up recyclable waste. Municipalities will also be required to inform the public on how to separate recyclable waste and where to dump it.

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