Istanbul's circular design approach to waste management allows the city to produce electricity and compost from different waste streams, as well as divert excess heat to greenhouses for greater productivity.


The Challenge

Istanbul faces a serious air pollution challenge, with particulate levels consistently above the WHO recommended level. Smart designs for heating and cooling that do not create extra pollution such as the greenhouse project are needed to reduce health risks for citizens.


The Solution

Istanbul's Odayeri waste management site is not only large, varied, and capable of processing 12,000 tons of waste per day, but also has a strong focus on environmental protection and tapping the potential resources for new growth. The 266-hectare site is dedicated to many different waste streams including municipal, medical, and organic waste. Landfill sites are isolated from groundwater using natural and geotechnical membranes, and drainage lines exist to collect methane gas produced over time. There is also a waste-to-energy plant with a capacity of 35 MW, enough to power 130,000 families for a year, which also produces heat as a by-product. Rather than let this go to waste, the heat is captured and sent to a nearby 3,200 m2 greenhouse for increased productivity. The organic waste processing area also produces compost for the greenhouse, which grows 600,000 flowers per month for the city's parks and gardens.


Environmental Benefits – Seasonal flowers in Turkey are usually grown in Mediterranean climates. Using excess heat to grow the flowers locally results in logistical and cost savings.

Economic Benefits – By using waste heat from the waste processing site instead of burning natural gas, the greenhouse saves an estimated $130,000 per year.


About Cities100

Presented by C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group (C40), Sustainia and Realdania – Cities100 2017 showcases leading solutions to urban climate challenges in five sectors: Energy, Waste, Adaptation, Mitigation and Transportation.

Available online and in print, Cities100 provides stakeholders an accessible format to explore achievable solutions for climate action in cities, and will be a useful tool for relevant groups ranging from impact investors and development organizations, to mayors and city governments. You can access the full Cities100 2017 publication online here.