A roundtable brought together international and local waste management companies, the nation’s metropolitan municipalities and the Ministry of Environment and Urbanization to help Turkey’s cities become more sustainable and combat the challenges of rapid urbanization. The event was organized by the International Finance Corporation, a member of the World Bank Group.
Turkey’s population of 75 million produces 32 million tonnes of waste each year, but its landfills complying with the standards of the European Union have a total capacity of 400 million tonnes, and are expected to be full in 10 years, IFC’s report said.
“Beyond the financing that helps us expand our business, IFC’s standards encourage us to maintain excellence at global best practice levels and scale up sustainably,” said Jan Nahum, chairman and chief executive of Hexagon Solid Waste.
While waste management regulations and standards have improved significantly in Turkey over the last decade, the country could face intense challenges in municipal solid waste management, unless integrated and region-specific solutions are introduced, the press release said. Significant portion of municipal solid waste is disposed at municipal dumpsites, resulting in significant environmental challenges and greenhouse gas emissions, the institution adds.
“Turkish cities are among the world’s fastest growing and face many urbanization challenges, which neither the private sector nor the public sector can handle alone,” said Aisha Williams, IFC’s country manager for Turkey. “We not only partner with innovative companies and Turkey’s municipalities to help address these issues, but we also aim to promote further cooperation, knowledge sharing and new partnerships with such events.”
The World Bank Group member said the Cities Initiative aims to scale up its financial and advisory services offerings to help cities become more competitive by strengthening institutions and regulations. It is improving critical infrastructure and environmental sustainability; fostering skills and innovation, and expanding access to finance, according to the statement. In Turkey, IFC is working with the cities of Izmir, Istanbul and Antalya, providing support to develop and finance sustainable urban infrastructure projects such as waste to energy, mass public transport and wastewater treatment. Turkey is IFC’s second-largest country of operations globally and host to its largest office outside Washington D.C.