Turkiye, Environment

Turkey’s zero waste project aims to save $20M annually

Project’s spearhead first lady says defense giant Aselsan produced $1.5M income by sorting 634 tons of waste this year

Gozde Bayar   | 10.12.2019
Turkey’s zero waste project aims to save $20M annually


Turkey aims to save $20 million annually and raise employment by implementing the zero waste project, the country’s First Lady said on Tuesday.

“We achieved our goal of shifting 25,000 public institutions to a zero waste management system two months ago,” Emine Erdogan said during her speech at Turkey's largest defense firm Aselsan’s Zero Waste Project Launching Ceremony in the capital Ankara.

“I hope that we will accomplish spreading zero waste project all around Turkey in 2023,” Erdogan stressed.

As for the Aselsan’s zero waste project, she said the defense contractor produced nearly $1 million income by sorting 273 tons of waste in 2018.

The first lady said the income rose to $1.5 million by sorting 634 tons of waste this year.

“It is the best proof of how a material regarded waste gains economic value,” she added.

Aselsan has been participating in the Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP), one of the world's most comprehensive environmental initiatives, since 2012.

The defense giant has considerably decreased its carbon emission as giving priority to production technologies that decrease carbon emission and switching to the use of energy that does not cause carbon emission.

Highlighting that Aselsan achieved a high score in Global CDP ranking, Erdogan hailed the firm for its environmental awareness. 

Aselsan lowers waste by 83% in cafeterias

Also addressing the event, Haluk Gorgun, the head of Aselsan, said the firm implemented zero food waste project in their cafeterias as of October.

Gorgun said they collect different types of wastes, including food, plastic and others, which could not be sorted and regarded trash.

“We have decreased our waste by 83% in the first month of the implementation,” he elaborated, stressing that they aim to achieve zero waste.

Underlining that they sent proper waste to animal houses, plastic waste to recycling, he said they transformed other waste to compost material.

Turkey’s zero waste project, led by the first lady, aims to reduce the volume of non-recyclable waste.

The project is also listed in the Environmental Performance Review of the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).

Public institutions and organizations will shift to a zero waste management system on June 1, 2020, as will metropolitan district municipalities with populations over 250,000 on Dec. 31, 2020.

Since 2017, the zero waste project envisages the most efficient use of resources by preventing waste or minimizing the amount of waste when it is generated.

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