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Landfill gas, Europe



Project Summary

The Mamak Landfill project, near Ankara in Turkey, was awarded the Best Environmental Project of the Year in 2009 by the World Bank. This landfill serves a population of almost 4 million people and more than 20 million tonnes of unsorted waste has been dumped there since 1980. The landfill, which was previously responsible for health, odour and air quality issues, allowed methane gas to vent directly into the atmosphere. Today, a landfill gas system collects all methane produced from the covered landfill site and creates renewable energy whilst rehabilitating the land. Still operational, the landfill now separates all recyclables from the waste it receives, feeding organic waste into anaerobic digesters, thereby creating another source of renewable energy.


Project Description

Alongside the landfill gas capture and combustion systems, a new drainage system has been installed to improve local water quality by protecting the nearby Imrahor Creek from leachate discharge.


In addition to reducing odour and improving air quality, the ultimate goal of the project is to create a ‘zero-waste’ site that creates employment and serves as a facility for education around waste.


The project runs public awareness campaigns locally in Ankara and has created more than 200 employment and training opportunities, including safe work for scavengers previously dependant on the site for a living.


Contribution to Sustainable Development

In addition to the reduction of emissions, the project contributes to sustainable development by:

  • Creating employment and training opportunities for over 200 people, including those who were previously dependent on scavenging from the landfill site.
  • Preventing the release of toxic organic compounds into the atmosphere and leachate into the groundwater.
  • Educating around waste management and recycling through a public awareness campaign and providing a sorting and recycling facility.
  • Planting 4,500 trees and constructing a greenhouse that is warmed by the biodigester’s excess heat and produces fruits, vegetables and flowers.
  • Reduced dependency on heavy fuel imports.