Who Should Collect Waste?

waste collection
writer Asli Turan

One of the urban problems is the inability to manage waste. The collection of waste, which is seen as both a costly and challenging stage in the management process; In recent years, it has been widely discussed by the parties involved.

I say parties because the main part of the issue is that more than one stakeholder undertakes the waste collection of a city. In this text; We will think about the parties mentioned, who they are, how this process worked in history, and what kind of industry it has become today.

According to subparagraph g of the 5393th article of the Municipal Law No. 15; “To carry out and have all services related to the collection, transportation, separation, recovery, elimination and storage of solid wastes.” is one of the powers and privileges of the municipality.

Within the scope of this article, since 2005, other operations, including the collection of waste, have been within the municipalities We understand it's progressing.

As in most law articles, there is a natural open door in this article. The word privilege in the article means “the scales of debate that exist today”municipality-private firm-collector“It upsets the balance. This balance / imbalance has occurred over the years, but it is important to talk about the reason.

Municipalities can negotiate with private companies through tenders in certain periods within the scope of the Public Procurement Law No. 4734. With the increase in the number of facilities in collection, separation and recycling activities in recent years, this situation has become easy even in very small districts. Municipalities manage the packaging waste Environmental Permit and License Regulation We can say that it transfers it under certain conditions to companies that have obtained license certificates by performing appropriate activities.

The last stakeholder is waste collectors. There is a group of people who have migrated from certain provinces to big cities for many years and earn money from this work. The existence of regulations on the subject that have been issued and/or renewed in the last five years has shaken waste collectors deeply. Last October, a brawl broke out after the police seized the materials in their warehouses in Istanbul.

See: Police raid on waste paper warehouse in Istanbul: A warehouse burned down, recycling workers detained

Let's examine a little bit of history on this theme. In the Ottoman period, we can include the definition of municipality in parallel with today's discussions. Garbage Subasi was responsible for the waste. It is said that the "garbage remover" workers working under the command of Subasi collect the waste accumulated in the streets of Istanbul and dump them into the sea. Another example of the process of being able to work under the label of "superior obligation".

In the first years of the Republic and later on, we see that the waste collection processes are in the hands of the urban administrations, but it can be said that they are managed in a flexible way due to the lack of sharp laws and regulations on the subject.

After all these events, in the past months Ankara Metropolitan and Tepebaşı municipalitiesConsidering that these stakeholders have a common purpose, waste collectors cooperatives founded. These cooperatives, which are incorporated into the municipality, open an area where employees have social security, child collectors are disabled, and waste is collected legally and registered.

See: A First: Collectors Operate With Confidence

See: Waste collectors established a cooperative in Ankara

But; It has turned into a waste industry. As in every industry, with the elements of competition and commercial concern, waste is seen as a material or product. There are also those who are not inclined to the idea of ​​a "cooperative" under this condition.

The point reached regarding the collection of wastes with today's history "municipality-private firm-collectorIt is fixed in ”. The source of this confusion is perhaps due to lack of service, perhaps classroom surveillance, or perhaps wrong policies. But Jean-Luc Nancy says in The Sense of the World; “Thus, the politics of the subject manifests itself in the appropriation of the exteriority that establishes the city.”…


About the Author

Asli Turan

I am an environmental engineer, born in 1997. I do ecology-fiction readings.

As Virginia Woolf said; I like sentences that don't move even if armies pass over them."

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