We are one of the countries that produce the most waste in the world, but the wastes we produce are disposed of by being stored, incinerated or buried before they are recycled. It has not been recycled. In other words, we have eliminated more than the waste we put into the recycling process without any action.
In 2020, only 13 percent of 32.3 million wastes were sent to recycling facilities by local governments. 70 percent of these wastes were sent to landfills and 17 percent were sent to municipal dumps, and 0.4 percent was sent to other methods (burning, burial). etc.) has been removed.
The amount of waste we generate due to population and other factors increases every year, manufacturing workplaces, mining enterprises, thermal power plants, organized industrial zones, health institutions and individual households, a total of 104.8 million tons of waste in 2020, 30.9 million tons of which is hazardous. Compared to 2018, our waste has increased by around 10 percent. When we compare it with the world, Turkey is among the countries that produce more waste than its population. This situation is related to economic development, we actually have more products and the population to buy. If we look at recycling rates, it can be recycled in the world. The recycling rate of products is around 20 percent. While it is 30 percent on average in OECD countries, the rate is around 12 percent in our country. In other words, we are behind both the world and OECD countries in recycling.
Increasing our recycling rate seems to be possible primarily by separating domestic waste at the source. The source is actually home, school, workplace. The place where we live and we produce the garbage. There are two ways to eliminate the waste generated after the garbage is produced, the first is to collect and bury it or burn it by the municipalities. The other is to separate the waste into plastic, packaging waste, glass and metal after it is produced and send it to recycling facilities. At this point, the laws are the second It gives the responsibility of transportation to the recycling facility in the option to the municipalities. Some municipalities collect it from the door, and some ask you to bring it to the collection centers. Actually, for municipalities, this stage is done by the public at the source, which means that the most costly part is solved free of charge.
The situation is brighter in industrial wastes, which is the other pillar of the business, because if the wastes produced in the enterprises are recycled, they earn money from this process. Therefore, money is a really good source of motivation on the industry side and the process is carried out regularly. Considering all sectors and households, Turkey makes sufficient recycling. However, if we recycle all our waste, we will not need to import waste from outside, we will not only have a significant amount of money in our pockets, but the wastes we store or burn in a wild way will not cause serious damage to our environment, so we will live in a cleaner environment.
As a result, we can have a recycling level at the level of civilized countries or even higher with simple organizational skills and awareness. This will positively affect both our environment and our economy.