Waste Management and Its Importance

Undoubtedly, one of the biggest problems of our time and our future. is environmental pollution. There are many factors that cause environmental pollution. The main reasons are; are waste. With rapid industrialization and increasing population, production, consumption and service activities have increased. For this reason, we can say that environmental wastes increase in parallel with this.

The waste problem seriously affects us. In this context, it is very important to manage waste correctly. As an environmental engineer and someone working in the recycling industry, I would like to briefly explain waste management and why it is important.

What is Waste Management?

Waste management; It is a form of management that includes the minimization, separate collection at source, intermediate storage, pre-treatment, establishment of waste transfer centers, recovery and disposal when necessary, which are qualified as outputs as a result of activities such as production, application and consumption. The aim of waste management is to ensure the management of wastes generated by human action without harming the environment and human health.

Waste Hierarchy

waste hierarchy

For waste; According to the waste hierarchy, the top priority option is prevention and reduction at source.

1. Waste Prevention

It is the first and most important step of the waste hierarchy. The purpose of waste prevention is to extend the life of the product and to ensure its reuse. By using natural resources as little as possible, reviewing the reusability of products and extending the useful life of products before evaluating them as waste are ways to prevent waste.

2. Waste Reduction

Waste reduction is used when waste prevention is less possible. It covers the use of less raw materials in production and the reduction of unnecessary consumption.

3. Reuse

It refers to any process in which wastes are used repeatedly for the same purpose as designed. For example; We can reuse the glass bottles we use to store something else, plastic grocery bags as garbage bags, and cut and sew our old clothes.

4. Recycling

Recycleis to collect recyclable wastes separately at the source and turn them into raw materials again. In other words, it is the recycling of materials that turn into waste after being used, to the manufacturing processes as raw materials after various physical and chemical processes are applied. For example; Textile products containing fiber from plastic packaging waste, production of pallets from wooden packaging, production of waste water pipes, production of paper-cardboard by processing paper-cardboard wastes…

5. Recovery

It is the conversion of waste into another product by physical, chemical and biological processes. It can also be converted into energy. Biogas production by decomposing organic wastes under anaerobic (oxygen-free) conditions and converting biogas into energy are examples of recovery.

6. Energy Recovery

Wastes that cannot be recycled or recovered; conversion into usable heat, electricity or fuel through processes such as anaerobic digestion, incineration, gasification, pyrolysis and landfill.

7. Disposal

It is the process of disposal of non-recoverable wastes and should be used as the last option. If it is done without taking the necessary precautions, it will have negative effects on the environment.

The steps we hear most frequently in the waste hierarchy in our daily lives recycle and recovery steps. In our developing world, it is very difficult for us not to create waste, not to use natural resources, that is, to prevent or reduce waste.

That's why all humanity needs to be conscious of recycling and recovery. As the world continues to develop, population increases and consumption continues, wastes will continue to increase in direct proportion.

Billions of waste are produced in the world every year. Being able to manage these wastes correctly is actually the sensitivity of a country to the environment and the importance it attaches to nature protection policies. In this process, it is of course very important to protect the environment and leave a clean nature to future generations, so waste management; recyclingI believe in making recycling a way of life.

prepared for this purpose In the Waste Management Regulation all the details are there.

Click for the regulation: Waste Management Regulation

The amount of waste generated in our country in 2020 according to TUIK data, where it comes from and what processes it is subjected to are shown below.

Waste Amounts According to TURKSTAT Data

According to TUIK data, a total of 2020 million tons of waste, 2020 million tons of which is hazardous, was generated in manufacturing industry workplaces, mining enterprises, thermal power plants, organized industrial zones (OIZ), health institutions and households in 30,9 in our country. The total amount of waste increased by 2018% compared to 10,5.

TUIK waste amounts

A total of 4,6 million tons of waste, 23,9 million tons of which was hazardous, was generated in the manufacturing industry workplaces. 56,3% of the total waste was sold or sent to licensed waste treatment facilities, 24,2% was sent to landfills, 7,1% was stored at the workplace, 7% was recovered on-site, 3,2% were collected by the municipality or OIZ administrations, 1,7% were sent to co-incineration or incineration facilities, 0,4% were used as filling material/recycled, 0,1% was other methods were eliminated.

waste statistics

27,6 million tons of waste, excluding pickling material/waste, was generated in mining operations. 896,4% of the total waste of 99,995 million tons including pickling material/rust was mineral wastes. Of the total waste, 71,3% was disposed of at waste sites, tailings dams or landfills, 26,4% was backfilled into the quarry, and 2,3% was recovered or disposed of by other methods.

A total of 10 million tons of waste, 24,4 thousand tons of which is dangerous, was generated in thermal power plants. Of the total non-hazardous waste, 79,5% was ash and slag waste, and 20,5% was metal, paper, plastic waste, wastewater treatment sludge, household and similar wastes. While 85,9% of the total waste was disposed of in ash mountain, ash dam or landfill facilities, 13,2% was sent to licensed facilities and used for backfilling of mines/quarries, and 0,9% was disposed of by other methods.

Infrastructure services, wastewater treatment, etc. of OIZ directorates. As a result of administrative activities, 117 thousand tons of waste, 279 thousand tons of which was dangerous, was generated. 6 thousand tons of the waste was recovered or temporarily stored in the OIZ, 208 thousand tons were recovered outside the OIZ, and 66 thousand tons were disposed of within or outside the OIZ. 59,4% of the disposed wastes were disposed of in landfills, and 40,6% in municipal/OSB dumps.

110 thousand tons of medical waste was collected from health institutions. Of the total medical waste, 23,7% was collected from health institutions located in these three metropolitan cities, with 7,8% in Istanbul, 5,8% in Ankara and 37,3% in İzmir. 90,6% of the collected medical waste was sterilized and sent to landfills, and 9,4% to incineration facilities.

32,3 Million Tons of Waste Collected in Municipalities

It was determined that 1389 out of 1387 municipalities in total provided waste services. While 32,3% of the 69,4 million tons of waste collected in municipalities where waste service is provided is sent to landfills, 17% to municipal dumps and 13,2% to recycling facilities, 0,4% is burned in the open and buried. was disposed of by spilling into a stream or land. The average daily amount of waste per person collected in municipalities was calculated as 1,13 kg.

municipal waste amount

It was determined that 314 thousand tons of wastewater treatment sludge (on the basis of dry matter) was formed in wastewater treatment plants operated by municipalities.

127,4 Million Tons of Waste Processed in Waste Processing Facilities

Of the 127,4 million tons of waste processed in waste disposal and recovery facilities, 78,3 million tons were disposed of and 49,1 million tons were recovered. The total amount of processed waste increased by 2018% compared to 22.

The total capacity of the sanitary landfills was determined as 1,2 billion m3. 174 million tons of waste, 31,9 million tons of which is hazardous, was disposed of in a total of 77,8 landfills.

Energy recovery was achieved by burning 1,3 million tons of waste in co-incineration facilities with waste recovery licenses. Except for compost and co-incineration facilities, a total of 47,6 million tons of metal, plastic, paper, mineral, etc. is produced in other licensed waste recovery facilities. waste is recovered.

waste disposal

Thank you for taking your time to read, I hope I was helpful, hope to meet you in my next article.

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About the Author

Burçin İnciel

Environmental Engineer, nature lover.
'Love green, love life.'

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