UCLG-MEWA colleague participated in the organization of the International Compost Conference held at Kadir Has University on January 12, 2017; that is a part of the workshop of the “Turkey Composts” project by the partnership with The Association of Cities and Regions for Recycling and Sustainable Resource Management (ACR+) and Buğday Association for Supporting Ecological Living. Composting is a solid waste disposal method that allows biochemical decomposition of organic matters with using oxygen of the medium in the waste by the microorganisms which are invisible. Aone-day Conference was organized in Istanbul in an attempt to encourage and provide the necessary information within the framework of the Solid Waste Regulation (2015), bring together stakeholders in Turkey and Europe, and demonstrate good practice examples of the compost technique; many delegates from municipalities, unions of municipalities, Ilbank, interested parties, ministries and government agencies participated in the event. Pilot implementations and good practices were shared by the Ministry of Environment and Urbanization of Republic of Turkey Waste Management Department, Izmir Dokuz Eylül University Department of Environmental Engineering, Association of Cities and Regions for Recycling and Sustainable Resource Management (ACR+), international companies, Istanbul Environmental Management Industry and Trade Inc. (ISTAÇ), Kartal and Beykoz Municipalities. presentations cover a broad spectrum of issues including special compost strategies for agriculture, tourism and urban regions; methods of collecting waste for composting along with good practices from Europe and rest of the world.
Composting is a solid waste disposal method that allows biochemical decomposition of organic matters with using oxygen of the medium in the waste by the microorganisms which are invisible. Making compost with preventing even a small part of the waste to be sent solid waste landfills has a big impact on environmental protection and global climate change issues.
In her speech, Assoc. Prof. Görkem Akıncı indicated that it is the best way to return what we have received from the soil again and remarked the amount of organic matter in our soil is very low (2,5% – 3%) because of the intensive agricultural activities. Akıncı stated that applying the composting method instead of using chemical fertilizers will enrich both soil and organic matter and minimize the amount of water needed.
Innovative initiatives in municipal waste management The representatives of Beykoz and Kartal Municipalities presented their activities in the context of zero waste strategy. Kartal Municipality representative Dilek Kars made a presentation on their pilot initiative on their small scale of worm compost systems by giving examples of the production of red worm projects of their municipality. Kars highlighted the possibility of reducing the use of chemical fertilizer to minimum. She added that free information and worms are provided by the Municipality for the interested constituents. Neslihan Karaman, from Beykoz Municipality, explained the pilot initiatives of the municipality for sustainable waste management and established waste disposal centers in some places for this purpose. Karaman gave a brief about the Green School Project of the Municipality in the scope of which the school supervisors, teachers and students receive training on waste management. For the functionality of the trainings, compost machines were provided to pilot schools to encourage children for separate collection at the source. Finally, it was emphasized that it is possible to achieve a more sustainable world by awareness raising on of separate collection at the source by each municipality.