Gaziantep - Waste Turns into Electricity, Greenhouse Gas Emission Declines

Posted May 19, 2020

Construction of Gaziantep Mechanical Biological Treatment and Biogas Facility (MBT) started. The facility will be realized under the UNDP’s “Turkey Resilience Project in Response to Syria Crisis (TRP) – Municipal Service Delivery Component” financed by European Union and implemented co-jointly with İLBANK and Gaziantep Metropolitan Municipality.

Gaziantep hosts the second largest number of Syrians with about 450,000 Syrians living in the city. As the population rises, the city’s infrastructural and municipal service needs grow too. Among these needs, waste management comes to the fore. UNDP’s Municipal Service Delivery Component, in cooperation with Gaziantep Metropolitan Municipality, has been supporting the city’s waste management efforts since 2018.

With its 10 million USD investment cost, the MBT is one of the largest projects of UNDP. The project involves not only the construction of the facility but also supply of all necessary vehicles and equipment. Having established as a comprehensive waste facility, the MBT aims to both support Gaziantep’s local economy and municipal budget and generate environmental and sustainable solutions for the city’s worsening waste problem.

The working principle of the facility is grounded in the sorting of the mixed waste before arriving in the sanitary landfills with a fully automatic system. The process starts with the separation of organic (biodegradable) and recyclable (economically valuable) wastes in different units. One of the outcomes of this process is the production of biogas through the fermentation of the biodegradable waste, which is later used in electricity production.

The facility is expected to produce 17,000 t/y recyclables, approximately 23,000 t/y refused derived fuel (RDF) and generate 4,100 MWh/y energy out of biodegradable portion of the waste, processing 100.000 t/y mixed municipal waste annually. Reintroducing the recyclables into the market, the project also aims to support the Municipality to generate a waste-based sustainable item thanks to the produced electricity and remarketed recyclable materials.  

The other important line of the project’s economic value to the Municipality derives from its role in decreasing the waste accumulated in the Gaziantep Central Sanitary Landfill. Due to the rising population and the parallel increase in the waste levels, Gaziantep landfill has been about to be full long before than its planned expiration date. By extending the lifetime of the Landfill up to 10% via landfill diversion, the project also eliminates the cost fell in the Municipality to extend the landfill’s lifetime.

Apart from its economic benefits, the MBT is also expected to play a vital role in the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions through avoiding fugitive methane in landfill and replacing fossil fuel use by biogas. The MBT decreases methane leak by processing biodegradable waste in closed area while creating an alternative to fossil fuel with biogas and electricity production. Thanks to these, the facility is aimed to reduce 9,309 t CO2 eq / year greenhouse gas emission.

The Municipal Service Delivery Component has been working for the improvement of waste management in Gaziantep through various projects such as preparing an Integrated Solid Waste Management Plan. And, the MBT is the latest and biggest step to complete these efforts.

The MBT which is already one of the pioneering waste management projects of Turkey with its economic efficiency and environmental sensitivity appears to be very successful among its kind across the world thanks to its technologies and output diversity.