Solid waste will become an important part of Turkey's renewable share and electricity generation, Turkish Energy and Natural Resources Minister Taner Yildiz said Friday in Balikesir, Turkey.
Speaking at the opening ceremony of Altaca group's integrated biogas and organic waste facility, which is constructed with 100 percent Turkish technology, Yildiz praised the project saying that it is environmental-friendly and contributing to the energy sector.
According to research of Turkish Statistical Institute, each household has domestic waste between 1.5 to 2 kilograms, Yildiz informed, adding that Gonen in Balikesir province, where the facility is constructed, puts producing energy from waste in good use.
"Facilities like this are in dire need for Turkey. They have so many positive effects on Turkey's energy mix. I attach great importance to such projects, both for the engineering know-how of their technological aspects, and for our energy ministry as well," he explained.
One of the alternative ways of diversifying energy resources is to recycle all kinds of waste. Types of municipal solid, livestock and agriculture waste are classified according to their similarities, and used to produce energy.
Yildiz emphasized that each biogas and organic waste facility that is introduced to the country's energy mix lowers the amount of money Turkey pays to import natural gas, noting electricity produced from wind power plants led Turkey to import $850 million worth of gas less in 2014.
Turkey relies heavily on foreign energy resources, mostly natural gas and oil, which generates almost half of Turkey's electricity production while their imports total around $60 billion a year on average. Energy expenditure is also one of the biggest contributors to Turkey’s current account deficit.
Stating that Turkey is one of the least recycling countries in the world, Yildiz emphasized that recycling is a 'cultural behavior' that needs to be adopted widely by the population.
"We burn newspapers in our stoves for heati but they are more expensive than wood. Paper is recycled around 96 percent in Japan, while this rate is only at 40 percent in Turkey. We have to popularize a recycling culture. We must develop and improve this behavior further," he explained.
By Gulsen Cagatay, Ovunc Kutlu