İbrahim Engin, President of the Association of Recovery Industrialists, stating that recoverable waste amounting to 1,5 billion liras annually goes to the garbage, said that they are working on bringing this back to the economy.


İbrahim Engin, President of the Association of Recovery Industrialists, stating that recoverable waste amounting to 1,5 billion liras annually goes to the garbage, said that they are working on bringing this back to the economy. Engin also stated that the total investment amount is around 60 billion euros, which is necessary for the EU adjustment of the sector. 

► Waste is the general problem of the world. When we take a general look, at which stage stands the world in the utilization and recycling of wastes?

A large part of the 2.1 billion tonnes of waste generated each year in the world are buried in sanitary landfills. This amount potentially contains an energy, equivalent to 4.5 billion barrels of oil. The mentioned amount of energy is at such a level, which could satisfy the 10% of the world's electric consumption. It is expected that annual income of waste utilization facilities in the world will be near 14 billion dollars. The investements on energy generation from the waste systems will reach 27 billion dollars annually until 2021.

► What is the situation in Turkey?

Turkey has a history in this process slightly exceeding 20 years.  In Turkey where the process started in 1991 with the Regulation on the Management of Solid Wastes, this framework regulation, which includes all the wastes, imposed an obligation to the private sector to recover the waste of the products it launched to the market for the first time.  Especially since 2005, with the realization of many regulations such as The Regulation on Control of Hazardous Wastes (RCHW), Regulation on the Control of Packaging Wastes, each product group was separately gathered in its source and reached a standard in its subject.  Today, approximately 25 million tons of household waste, 1,2 million tons of industrial waste, 100 thousand tons of medical waste and 530 thousand tons of e-waste emerges in Turkey per year. It is estimated that only the waste of mobile phones is approximately one thousand ton per year.

► Number of companies carrying out business in the sector and the employment provided?

In the sector where near one million small and large scale enterprises are carrying out business, it is estimated that there are 500 thousand collectors.  Number of those who earn money from the scrap industry, where net figures cannot be pronounced as 25 percent of it is unrecorded, is reflected as the 3 percent of the population of Turkey. Waste management and recycling sector in Turkey has become a market today, approximately worth to 5 billion euros, with the contributions of the private sector and local administrations.

► Is there a way to go on the rate of recycling?

The recycle rate, which was 35 percent until 2010, has increased to around 40 percent. The number of licensed investors showing interest in the sector has already reached 450. 43 percent of the recycled waste consists of paper, 27 percent of it is plastic, 12 percent is glass, 8 percent is textile products and 4 percent is metal. While the recycle rate of all wastes in Turkey is 7 percent in average, recycle rate of packaging materials is around 20 percent and is ranked on the top. 2 million 250 thousand tons of packaging waste was recovered per year with 576 packaging waste collection and recycling facilities.  In addition, 45 thousand tons of waste mineral oil (150 thousand unrecorded, uncollected) and 59 thousand 500 tons of waste accumulator were collected in 2016. In addition to this, value of those wastes that were thrown away in one year and could not be recycled is still around 1,5 billion TL.

► Can you exemplify it comparatively?

Of course. For example, sectoral actors state that, through the recycling of the aluminium cans, 95 percent energy can be saved, compared to aluminum production from raw materials. These examples show that external dependence in recycling sector will decrease and contribution to the country's economy can be significantly increased with the use of existing waste sources.

► Contributions of the ship dismantlers to the economy and environment should be separately evaluated, right?

It has continuously grown in the recent years. Aliağa Ship Dismantling Zone, which is the only ship dismantling and recycling zone in Turkey with many companies within its structure and shown as one of the best ship dismantling zones, is revealing the best performance of recent years. Almost 50 percent of the ships that come to Aliağa to be dismantled, come from Middle Eastern and Northern African countries, particularly from Syria, Lebanon, Egypt and Libya.  The fact that 200 million dwt ships will be scrapped, provides a significant earning opportunity with regards to the Turkish ship recyclers.

► Amount of electronic wastes is low but I guess, they are higher in prices and more advantageous?

Yes, the newest subject of activity of the metal recycling field is the electronic wastes. While technological developments cause the emergence of new garbage mountains, almost 50 million tons of electronic waste is generated each year, according to UN figures. While the amount of wastes within the scope of e-waste is approximately one million ton in Turkey, utilization of only the part of it which is equal to 20 thousand ton shows that the sector is at the very beginning of the road. This makes the sector more attractive with respect to the entrepreneurs. Furthermore, there are tens of companies awaiting to obtain licenses towards the recycling of e-wastes in Turkey. Since the profit margin is high, interest of the large investment groups has also increased in the recent periods. Because in the sector, a "waste recycling investment" worth to 9,5 billion euros is anticipated until 2023, but the total investment amount required for the EU adjustment of the sector is around 60 billion euros.

► Will the EU obligations increase the need of investment?

Many obligations coming to Turkey also cause the emergence of a serious need of investment. Turkey has determined its national environmental strategy until 2023 within the scope of EU adjustment. Accordingly, adjustment works on environment consists of the legislation and realization of the physical investments. There are more than 300 legislations that need to be harmonized in the field of environment.  It is observed that steps have been mostly taken in the matter of packaging wastes until now among the environment investments. In this field, a large number of players are active, such as the municipalities, licensed recycling and sorting facilities, industrial enterprises that put packaged products on the market, packaging manufacturers, authorized organizations, sales points and consumers. Foundation of Environmental Protection and Utilization of Packaging Wastes (ÇEVKO) and Foundation of Consumer and Environment Education (TÜKÇEV) come to the forefront among such organizations.

► Are the existing laws and regulations too inadequate?

Almost 15 regulations are being implemented in Turkey with respect to wast management but these regulations are too weak compared to the examples in Europe. Due to the fact that solid waste sorting facilities are insufficient in Turkey and collection at the source cannot be implemented, adjustment to EU acquis cannot be attained. 

They are supported with private funds abroad.

► Does Special Consumption Tax practice continue in base oil?

According to TÜBİTAK data, the base oil generated as a result of the re-refining of the waste oils, requires 67 percent less energy compared to the base oil derived from crude oil and approximately 1 kg of high quality base oil can be obtained from almost 1,5 kg of waste mineral oil, except other by-products. This will also relatively decrease our dependency on the imported oil. For this reason, demanding Private Consumption Tax again from a product in the base oil produced by the facilities that produce base oil from the waste mineral oil, the Private Consumption Tax of which has been collected, means to terminate recycling. Recovery and recycling is encouraged abroad with private funds; we believe that it will be for the benefit of public to support it with some incentives to be implemented during investment and operation periods.

Integration cannot be ensured between waste collectors and municipalities

► I think there are also some troubles regarding the waste collectors?

Although those who produce the packaging materials that cause waste generation and put them on the market are responsible for collecting the packaging wastes; such obligations do not undertake the materials to be collected in the market as they could not have a wide network of collectors until present. This causes a great problem between the collectors and manufacturing companies. The reason for this is that they do not incorporate 500 thousand street collectors in Turkey to their own structures and they want to employ them with too low wages; for this reason, integration cannot be ensured between the collectors and municipalities.

► What is the situation with municipalities?

As the municipalities store household wastes together with industrial wastes as they generate income, this causes a serious problem with regards to the sorting companies. This problem should be solved by establishing a new legal framework.

► How much of the waste motor oil can you collect?

As required by the legislation, PETDER is the only organization authorized for the collection of waste motor oils. According to its own data, PETDER was able to collect only 17 thousand 800 tons of the 137 thousand tons of waste motor oil produced last year. This figures show that collecting performance is 13 percent. The fact that 119 thousand 200 tons of waste motor oil could not be collected, suggests that it might have been largely converted into illegal fuel under the counter and the rest might have been used in heating. Within the last five years, 598 thousand tons of waste motor oil was generated in our country and only 94 thousand 800 tons of that could be collected by PETDER (16 percent), half million tons of waste motor oil went to unrecorded channels.

If you underrate the waste!    


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