A solid waste management company established on the dumping grounds in the capital Ankara’s Mamak district converts the energy produced from wastes burned at the facility into heat, using it for vertical farming and growing vegetables and fruits.
“We reduced the cost of our first harvest of lettuce by 60 percent,” Ali Rıza Öner, the business development director of ITC, which conducts solid waste disposal in 13 provinces, told a group of journalists while referring to the vertical farming, the practice of growing crops in vertically stacked layers.
It often incorporates controlled-environment agriculture, which aims to optimize plant growth and soilless farming.
Noting that the need for energy creates an environmental problem, this affects agriculture and food production, and the deterioration in food also affects the human body, Öner said,“This has turned into a vicious circle that is accelerating.”
Öner said the company convert the energy they produce from the waste they burn in the facility into heat and use it for vertical farming.
Pointing out that vertical farming can be applied in campuses, villages, apartments and even in shelters under apartments, Öner said, “People can thus engage in agriculture that is designed with special LED lights, does not use chemical pesticides and fertilizers, is free of carcinogenic pesticides and saves soil and water by 95 percent.”
Stating that officials from the Agriculture and Forestry Ministry examine the model, Öner said that vertical agriculture, which has a worldwide market of approximately $5 billion, is estimated to exceed $12 billion in 2026.