Financial Incentive for Recycling in Istanbul

Recycling is becoming more and more of an everyday topic but maybe some people need incentives too. Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality has targeted people who used the bus and metro as their main method of transportation to develop a new incentive for people to recycle.plastic-bottles-115071_1920

By Aybuke Basaran

Waste management is something that needs to be talked about especially in large cities due to the increased amount of waste. People of Istanbul kept throwing plastic bottles to the ground; sometimes because they could not find a trash can and sometimes they simply did not care enough. Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality has targeted people who used busses and metro as their main method of transportation to develop a new incentive for people to recycle.

The idea is to install recycling machines in metro stations where people load money into their transportation cards. For each bottle you put into the machine, it loads a certain amount of money to your card. You do not even need to have plastic bottles; tin cans also work. Of course, doing it once is not enough to see its value. You need to make it into a habit and look at getting the money as a side benefit  where the main goal is taking care of Earth. The plan has launched in this October and the machines were installed in one of the busiest metro stations in Istanbul. The station was mainly chosen for its proximity to one of the largest university campuses in the city. This way, the new generation who is already known as being more environmentally conscious than the previous generations, can lead the way to Turkey with no waste.

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Even though Turkish people have welcomed the financial incentive element with open arms, these kinds of practices have been in place in some developed countries for years. For example; in the US, you can get 10 cents for each glass bottle you put in the container. While Turkey and even the US is not on the level of Sweden (they turn garbage into energy!) in terms of recycling, it is exciting to see an emerging country like Turkey making an effort towards a sustainable future.

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