Characterization of municipal solid waste in Istanbul, Turkey

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Solid waste management was one of the most significant environmental issues encountered in developing countries. Quantity of produced waste as well as its composition was known to vary by general consumption patterns that were affected by socio-economic status, household size, or even by seasons. Due to the dynamic nature of waste quantity and composition, the handling and disposal of waste in an economically and environmentally feasible way presented itself as a challenge. Therefore, in order to conduct a successful decision-making process to determine the feasible and sustainable processes in the disposal of waste, priority should be given to the statement of the problem at hand. The aim of this study is to achieve a characterization of municipal solid waste of Istanbul, Turkey. Waste samples were collected from the transfer stations servicing certain zones of the city and consequently substance group, moisture content and calorific value analyses were performed over these samples. Results indicated that approximately 54% of the municipal solid waste composition was of organic nature. The paper/cardboard group was coming next in ranking with a proportion of 15.57%. Average moisture content of samples was calculated to be 62.41% and 1435 kcal kg−1 was calculated to represent the average calorific value. © 2012 American Institute of Chemical Engineers Environ Prog, 32: 734–739, 2013