Target for Zero Waste – Tatlısu Pilot Project: First Lady Sibel Tatar: “Our objective is to live in a pollution free environment”
The Target for Zero Waste – Tatlısu Pilot Project led by First Lady Sibel Tatar was introduced to members of the press at an event held at the Zambak Holiday village.
The milestone event was also attended by Tatlısu mayor Hayri Orçan, who thanked Mrs Tatar for spearheading the project and supporting the municipality in its work to make the Tatlısu region a cleaner place to live in following the introduction of recycling of materials and water conservation.
In her speech, First Lady Sibel Tatar, said: “We put a lot of effort and value into this project; I am honoured and happy to be with you today at the launch of the Target for Zero Waste – Tatlısu Pilot Project, which is important for the Tatlısu Municipality in particular and for the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus in general.”
Sibel Tatar said that the project, which came into life with the Tourism and Environment Committee and the project team in April 2021, was announced to the public for the first time on June 5, 2021 World Environment Day, and emphasised that we have a great responsibility towards the environment, which is the source of life itself. She added that plastics, which have a practical use in daily life, are having a detrimental impact on the environment “because they do not easily enter the cycle of transformation in nature”.
Mrs Tatar said: “To put this into context, it takes plastic bags 1,000 years to completely break down and decompose once they are abandoned in nature; Plastic dishes take 500 years to decompose; Plastic bottles take 400 years to decompose; Foamed plastic cups take 50 years to decompose; Aluminium cans take between 80 to 200 years in landfills to become completely decomposed; Disposable diapers take between 400 to 500 years to decompose and Glass Bottles take 1 million years to decompose.”
Mrs Tatar, explaining the “Target for Zero Waste – Tatlısu Pilot Project", said they have introduced separation and sorting for waste by placing: 140 sorting garbage containers; Cyprus dwarf elephant pet bottle separation containers – which was an idea that had been inspired by a fish bottle separation container in Germany that she liked very much.
The First Lady added “we had plastic bottle separation containers made in the form of the Cyprus Dwarf Elephant -- an extinct species that lived on the island of Cyprus from 2.5 million years ago to 11,000 BC. These elephants were made in their original size. . .”
She explained that the project also introduced the Mediterranean Monk Seal plastic bottle sorting containers, Biomedical waste containers, Waste battery container, Used cooking oil containers, and Waste Engine Oil containers.
Mrs Tatar added that a glass crushing-grinding machine, which is capable of transforming the glass of the whole region and even all the glass within Northern Cyprus, has been given by the TRNC Presidency for the use of Tatlısu Municipality within the scope of the project.
Whilst ground glass is used by Tatlısu Municipality in the production of parquet and briquettes, protocols have been signed with different companies by the Mayor of Tatlısu, Mr. Hayri Orçan, for the recycling of all other wastes, Mrs Tatar said.
“With the ‘Target: Zero Waste Tatlısu Pilot Project’, which was implemented for the first time in Northern Cyprus, the wastes that we have considered as garbage for years will be separated and sorted first and then converted into raw materials, thus preventing environmental pollution, and contributing to the town's urbanism, tourism and economy,” Mrs Tatar added.
She explained how the project has succeeded, which she attributed to educational programmes and training to the locals in Tatlısu, adding that the “project has reached the objective of 70% per cent and this rate will increase day by day”.
“Another important reason which necessitates the implementation of this project,” Mrs Tatar said, “is that all of our municipalities will be taking this project as an example and implement it. Moreover, this practice will become state policy and be implemented by future governments and municipalities”.
“First of all, it is the most natural right for our people to live in a clean, liveable and healthy environment. For our country, which aims to be a tourism country, its implementation is essential.
“In this project that I pioneered; I would like to thank the Mayor of Tatlısu, Hayri Orçan who has been successful in his work to date, who was present at every stage of the project and who took the responsibility of executing the project properly from the start. Furthermore, I would also like to thank the valuable people of Tatlısu. The sustainability of this project will be ensured by their contribution and it is now under their responsibility.”
The First Lady also thanked the Presidency of the TRNC, which contributed to the realisation of the project and covered all the expenses, the Chairman of TRNC Presidential Tourism and Environment Committee Prof. Dr. Özge Özden, Prof. Dr. Salih Cücel, Presidential Environmental Advisor Mrs. Hasibe Kusetoğulları, companies contributing to recycling, and the Presidential Advisors and colleagues.