In southeastern Kilis, which is the only province where first lady Emine Erdoğan's Zero Waste Project is implemented on a provincial basis, waste materials are brought back into the economy with the project carried out by the municipality.
Within the scope of the project, a waste collection center was built on an area of 1,100 square meters (11,840.30 square feet) in Kilis, where recyclable wastes are collected at a single point. The project distributed triple and double sets, baskets and bottle-like cages to schools, institutions and markets, while 800 recycling cages were placed on the main arteries next to household waste containers.
In addition, eight mobile waste collection centers were located in areas where the public is concentrated. Institutions collect waste materials with the "bring 5 pieces of waste and receive your pencil" to encourage the public.
Waste materials collected throughout the province are brought to the waste center of the municipality and contribute to the economy.
Deputy Mayor Mustafa Tohumcu told Anadolu Agency (AA) that Turkey's largest environmental policy has begun to be implemented under the auspices of President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan's wife, Emine Erdoğan.
Explaining that the Zero Waste Project is an important initiative due to its contributions to the environment and economy, Tohumcu stated that they started the infrastructure works of this project in 2019 and also provided training at various institutions.
Noting that they purchased vehicles with the support of the Ministry of Environment, Urbanization and Climate Change, the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) and the municipality, Tohumcu said: "We started to implement the Zero Waste Project as of January 2021. In this framework, cardboard, paper, metal, plastic and glass in household wastes are collected by waste collectors and then they are delivered to licensed companies."
The council's aim is to bring the materials in domestic waste into the economy. "When we look at the amount of waste collected in 18 months, we see that around 4,500 tons of waste was collected. According to our calculations, we saved TL 15 million," Tohumcu added.
Together with its economic benefits, the project is also very important in terms of preventing environmental pollution. "The reduction of the garbage going to our solid waste storage facility is also very important for us in terms of preventing the environmental pollution. It is also a source of employment here," Tohumcu explained.
Emphasizing that Kilis is the only province in Turkey where the Zero Waste Project is implemented on a provincewide basis, Tohumcu thanked those who contributed to the implementation of the project.