Melih Gökçek, mayor of Ankara Metropolitan Municipality, spoke to Anatolian news agency and said the capital is producing 4,500 tons of garbage every day and the majority of this amount is being buried underground. Gökçek said if they keep burying the majority of the garbage, the solid waste yards in Sincan and Mamak districts will not be enough to answer the needs of Ankara for the years to come.
"When these waste yards were being selected the measurements were not accurate, especially not for Çadırtepe. Ankara’s waste potential was considered 1,500 tons for the year 2020. Their capacity was arranged to handle that much." Gölçek said since the daily production of garbage for Ankara is already almost 4,500 tons, the present zones will not last five years if they continue to bury all of it.
Minimizing the amount
"That is why we have been working on minimizing the amount of garbage for burying. We have built two composting tanks of 10,000 tons of capacities at the waste yard of Mamak. After these tanks are full, 250 tons of organic garbage will be put into them every day. Therefore there will be a reduction of 500 tons each day for the garbage saved for Mamak."
Gökçek said the tanks are operational and will reduce the garbage’s damage to the environment and provide recycling. Gas emitted by the garbage will be used for providing electricity to Ankara through generators and the compost will be put to use as manure for green areas, Gökçek said.
Gökçek said there are plans to recycle 60 percent of Ankara’s garbage in two years, therefore, the amount to be buried will be reduced to 20 to 30 percent and the final goal is reducing it to zero.
Gökçek said Mamak and Sincan will be saved from being waste yards by the facilities to be built and solid waste will be recycled for the economy. He said some of the organic waste might be used for construction purposes. Ankara will reach a stage like no other province of Turkey in three years in terms of recycling solid waste and less pollution for the environment and underground resources, Gökçek said.
He said another benefit of the compost tanks was that they solve the greatest problem of waste yards: garbage liquids. Gökçek said the liquid garbage from the original waste used to be collected and purified before being transferred to sewers.
"Right now we are moving those liquids back to the tanks from collectors. This provides faster composting and helps prevent pollution of underground water resources."