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Paper, plastic and other forms of waste threatening to enter the water intake from a hydropower plant’s reservoir is a constant challenge and a constraint on plant operations. In Turkey, several tonnes of waste have been collected with the help of local schools – to everyone’s benefit.

This is a good example of how we work in Turkey.

It started out as an effort from personnel at Statkraft’s Kargi power plant on the Kizilirmak River in northern Turkey to tackle the large amount of waste accumulating in the plant’s reservoir.

It has turned out as a win-win situation, and a prime example of sharing value between the power plant, the neighbouring community and not least the local environment.

Bahadir Sezegen (right), who coordinates environmental and social issues for Statkraft in Turkey, hands over used and recycled Statkraft computers to Mahmut Karakaş, head teacher at Gemici Primary School in the city of Osmancik.

Bahadir Sezegen (right), who coordinates environmental and social issues for Statkraft in Turkey, hands over used and recycled Statkraft computers to Mahmut Karakaş, manager at Gemici Primary School in the city of Osmancik. For each tonne of paper and plastic waste collected by the children for recycling, the school received a computer as a reward. (Photo: Sener Demir)

Waste means income for local schools

In the spring of 2017, Kargi personnel initiated a campaign directed at the local community. In order to achieve a sustainable solution to the waste problem it was decided to focus on increasing the knowledge and awareness about waste management, in addition to more immediate efforts.

In close collaboration with local authorities, local schools were chosen as pilot cases.

After kick-starting the campaign with an incentive scheme where every tonne of paper and plastic waste collected was rewarded with a used and recycled Statkraft computer, 10 tonnes of waste were collected and an impressive level of enthusiasm created.

Continuing the campaign without the computer incentive from Statkraft, local schools are now expanding the campaign and generating welcome income from paper and plastic waste delivered for recycling, and the Kargi power plant is reaching its main objective of reducing the debris flowing into the Kizilirmak River and thereby reducing the number of hours spent removing waste collected by the plant’s debris filter.

Children collecting paper waste

Aerial photo of Kargi power plant

Statkraft's Kargi power plant on the Kizilirmak River. (Photo: Statkraft)

Sustainable handling of waste

In the long run there will be less waste coming from riverside villages and the Osmancik district centre a few kilometres upstream of Kargi. But a more immediate goal is to establish a constructive dialogue with the municipality in regards to sharing responsibility for waste removal from the reservoir.

With this campaign, Statkraft is demonstrating its long-term commitment, which is reflected positively in the environmental cooperation with the municipality.

There are also plans to modify the campaign to fit the Çakıt run-of-river power plant in the province of Adana in Turkey.

Statkraft is also considering how this simple, but highly effective initiative can be replicated to tackle waste management and debris challenges globally.

Map of Turkey

Kargi

Kargı hydroelectric power plant in northern Turkey is located on the river Kızılırmak, in the districts of Osmancık and Kargı. After four years of construction, Kargi went into commercial operation in May 2015. Kargı Kızılırmak Enerji A.Ş. is a wholly owned Statkraft company.

Learn more

Facts: Statkraft in Turkey
Facts: Kargi hydropower plant
Feature: "Safety on the timetable"

"I'm proud to be part of this"

“This is a good example of how we work in Turkey,” says Bahadir Sezegen, who initiated the campaign and coordinates environmental and social issues for Statkraft in Turkey.

“Knowing the general challenges we face in Turkey with regards to waste management and recycling, I am deeply impressed by the efforts and commitment from the school children and their administration," he adds.

"This pilot project will not lead to a clean reservoir overnight, but we have put into place a simple system for waste handling which ultimately will educate people, improve the local environment and help Statkraft reach its objective of less waste flowing into the reservoir. I’m proud to be part of this.”

Text: Johan Tingulstad
Photo: Bahadir Sezegen

With this campaign, Statkraft is demonstrating its long-term commitment, which is reflected positively in the environmental cooperation with the municipality.