Fall 2010, Issue#24
-BROCHURE (inside)

An Overview
Recycling and Waste-to-Energy Projects in Turkey
Austria and Netherland are known as the countries that
treat best their waste in the world with a rate of 70%.

by Yuksel OKTAY, PE

[October 10, 2010, New Jerjey) Waste-to-energy turns trash into electricity or steam to heat, cool, light and otherwise power homes and industry through the process of combustion. Modern Waste-to-Energy plants (also referred to as Energy-from-Waste plants, (EfW) are clean-burning facilities that benefit the environment and the economy in hundreds of cities across America and Europe . Turkey has several facilities and is in the process of planning for future projects utilizing thermal and incineration processes. Most waste is stored at over 1,500 wild storage areas and 15 controlled landfills across the country. The facilities at present utilize methane gas released from the landfills or gasification process to generate electricity. Brief description of these processes are presented below.

Recycling of Waste

According to a recent article, 40% of the municipal waste in the European Union is treated and 23% of this amount is recycled with further 17% being composted (1). The same article also states that Austria and Netherland are known as the countries that treat best their waste in the world with a rate of 70%. They are followed by Germany and Belgium, with Turkey treating 25 % of its waste.

Electricity Generation from Landfill Gas (Biogas)

The municipal waste stored according to sanitary landfill standards are subject to the fermentation based on time at anaerobic environment landfill gas (methane gas). This gas is collected and conditioned and burned at gas engines and converted to electrical energy. There are several facilities which use this technology in Turkey, including the Hasdal and Odayeri and Komurcuoda plants in Istanbul. The Mamak and Sincan plants near Ankara have been operating for some years successfully and many municipalities are planning new facilities. Konya municipality is expected to start the construction of a 1,000 tons per day facility and Diyarbakir Municiplaity is in the final stages of a proposed facility to be submitted to EU for consideration and funding. The amount of waste to be provided by the association of 9 municipalities in and around Diyarbakir is 850 tons per day.

Electricity Generation using Waste Gasification technology (Thermal process)

A patented gasification reactor is utilized to burn all kinds of industrial waste at a facility owned and operated by Ekolojik Enerji in Kemerburgaz near Istanbul. Some of the waste categories accepted at the plant include agricultural wastes, plastics, cosmetics, cleaning products, oil products, naval and yatch docks industrial wastes, tobacco and tobacco products, textile wastes, leather and fur industry wastes, packaging materials, wood, waste water and many other waste types that the receptionism permitted by the Ministry of Environment and Forestry. The waste is first subjected to a separation stage. Than the organic materials are directed to the composting unit.

Electricity Generation using Incineration Technology

Incineration technology offers superior sustainable alternative to landfills which is cleaner and preserves open spaces. Technologically advanced facilities combust waste at high temperatures. Resulting steam is either sold directly or used to produce electricity. Ash residue is buried or recycled for use in construction and road building applications. Some of the benefits of EfW include environmentally sustainable waste disposal, generation of clean and reliable energy from renewables fuels and reduction of greenhouse gas emissions and combating global warming.

Hazardous Waste

Hazardous waste generated by the industry has been collected and recycled regularly since 2005. A total of 334 facilities recycling various types of waste were awarded operating licences by the Ministry of Enviroenment and Forestry (1). There are two facilities in Turkey that uses gassification process to generate electricity from hazardous waste.

Renewable Law and Regulations

Energy from Waste Projects are licensed by the Energy Market Regulatory Authority (EMRA) and regulated by the Ministry of Environment and Forestry. The projects are governed by the Renewable Energy Law passed in 2005, which provides minimum price and purchase guarantees. The law is to be amended to provide additional incentives to developers, including electricity sale price of € 14 cent/kWh, which is under discussion now.

Turkey, a potential Market for EfW

Becoming a member of the EU is one of Turkey ’s goal, which has been delayed for a number of reasons. However, Turkey is closely following the rules and regulations of the EU, which are being incorporated into new regulations. Many municipalities have been working on new waste management projects with funds provided by EU and waste to energy projects are expected to be tendered by several municipalities. At least 16 Greater Cosmopolitan Municipalities are in the process of finalizing their studies and decide on the technology to be used.

A Government Task Force has been created to help Municipalities with their waste management plans, which is headed by Prof. Dr. Izzet Ozturk of Istanbul Technical University. During the first International Waste to Energy Symposium, organized by ''Sektorel Fuarcilik - Fair Organizers'', held in Istanbul on November 12- 13, 2009, Prof. Ozturk stated that the task force is concentrating on 16 major municipalities in Turkey and advising incineration method to 80 % of the projects in planning. (2)

Metropolitan and Major Municipalities in Turkey

There are 81 Provinces in Turkey, with the capital of each province being a Metropolitan or Major municipality with the exception of a few in the east. There are 852 districts within the 81 provinces and 3,215 municipalities and 35,115 villages.

The number of Metropolitan Municipalities is 17 with 2 candidates to become one. These municipalities are responsible for the management of waste and the establishment of energy-from-waste facilities. Major municipalities have formed Associations to tackle the waste issue, which are normally headed by the Governor.

There are close to 15 EfW facilities processing municipal and commercial waste in different cities. There are also several industrial and hazardous waste facilities utilizing gassification process. Some of these plans are given below:

1. Ankara Mamak 22 MW (operating around 12 MW now), Landfill Gas
2. Ankara Sincan 3 MW, Landfill Gas
3. Kemerburgaz, Istanbul 1 MW, Landfill Gas (out of service now)
4. Odayeri, Istanbul , 5 MW - 20 MW (Inaugurated 2009) Landfill Gas
5. Komurcuada, İstanbul, 10 MW (Landfill gas)
5. IZAYTAS - Izmit Hazardous Waste Incinerator Plant - 3 MW
6. Ekolojik Enerji, Istanbul, Industrial Waste Gassification Plant
7. Bursa , Landfill Gas project
8. Gaziantep Landfill Gas project
And others

Companies involved in Waste Management

There are several companies in the US and EU who provide services and invest in energy-from-waste projects. COVANTA Energy from Fairfield, NJ is the leading company in the world in the business and a keen observer in the Turkish waste sector. Information on the UNION EfW facility, owned and operated by COVANTA, is given below.

(1) A sector Emerges from Waste, by Fahri Sarrafoglu, ITOVIZYON, June 2010
(2) The second International Waste to Energy Symposium, organized by ''Sektorel Fuarcilik-Fair Organizers'', will be held in Istanbul on November 4-5, 2010.

About COVANTA Union, Inc.:
The Union County Resource Recovery Facility, located on the banks of the Rahway River, began commercial operation in June 1994, serving the residents of Union County. The facility processes up to 1,540 tons of solid waste each day into enough electrical energy to power some 30,000 homes and businesses. The facility runs entirely on the energy it produces, with the remaining 39 megawatts of renewable energy sold through a merchant power marketer. Designed and built by Covanta Energy, the facility is owned by the Union County Utilities Authority(UCUA), and operated by Covanta Energy under a 25-year lease negotiated in 1998.

Yuksel Oktay
Energy Consultant, New Jersey
Rahway, New Jersey, October 10, 2010


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