UNDP’s work for “Zero Waste” in Şanlıurfa brought in 1.1 million Turkish Liras to the economy
With the initiative launched by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Turkey in 2017 with the vision of "Zero Waste", 369 tonnes of waste have been recycled in the Haliliye district of Şanlıurfa province in 2021, bringing in 1.1 million TL (approximately US$81,500) to the Turkish economy. The recycled waste also prevented 4,182 adult pine trees from being cut down and saved 300 million litres of water from pollution. The project, implemented in partnership with the Ministry of Environment, Urbanisation and Climate Change had begun in 2017 and ended in 2021.
Funded by the United States Department of State Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration (PRM) with $3 million, the initiative was implemented under the UNDP Turkey Syria Crisis Response and Resilience Portfolio in Haliliye district and Kilis province; regions with a sizeable population of Syrians under Temporary Protection (SuTPs). Local administrations and municipalities were supported to improve waste management practices and promote social cohesion through developing a community-based, participatory waste management system, to cope with the intensive pressure of migration. Various activities were carried out for 2 years in order to build “Zero Waste” systems, develop plans, strategies, and policies for effective, efficient, and sustainable waste management and disposal, and to increase public awareness about environment and waste.
Within the scope of the support given to Haliliye Municipality, which was selected as a pilot region in Şanlıurfa, a total of 10 million technical equipment and vehicles were provided. Waste collection boxes were placed in schools and public buildings, and machines that gave pens in return for the disposal of waste materials were placed at 10 points in the region. To encourage recycling, a market was built where Syrians and host community members could bring their waste and get free cleaning supplies in return. As a result of these efforts, in 2021, 246 tonnes of paper, 56 tonnes of plastic, 45 tonnes of metal, 22 tonnes of glass, thousands of batteries, and hundreds of litres of waste oil were recycled in Haliliye, which brought over 1 million TL to the economy.
Additional to these supports, awareness-raising activities were carried out, aiming to create community support in order to achieve local zero waste and sustainability goals in Haliliye and Kilis. Online training on “Zero Waste” was delivered to teachers, public employees, and municipal personnel. Recycling workshops for Syrian and host community member women and vocational trainings on recycling were organized. Informative animations for primary and secondary school students were produced and informative equipment were distributed to the households.
The initiative, completed in June 2021, relies on UNDP’s resilience-based development approach and is part of the portfolio aimed at expanding communities’ access to labour markets, improving livelihoods, promoting social cohesion, and improving public services in areas with a large population of Syrians and strengthening the resilience of local institutions.