There are times when the sight of carelessly discarded rubbish on the beach and fly tipping on quiet forest roads fill us with despair. No pictures are necessary; we’ve all seen it.

Thankfully for Fethiye’s environment there is some very positive work going on too.

Much of this is thanks to Fethiye Municipality, the town’s Environmental Protection and Control Manager, Hatice Kabak and a recycling company called Kaydem Plastik.

Hatice Kabak

As a result, Fethiye recycling has become an active, long-term and campaign, not only to educate and encourage Fethiye’s population, of all ages, to dispose of rubbish responsibly but also to use every opportunity to recycle, even giving Fethiye’s rubbish added value.

solar powered collection vehicles
Solar powered collection vehicles

Waste is a problem everywhere

A few weeks ago, we read about War On Waste. This is a ground-breaking campaign by Hugh Fearnley Whittingstall, the British chef and environmental activist, in which he drew attention to attitudes to waste in the UK and the cynical approach many in the population have about recycling. We thought it was about time that we publicized the excellent work Fethiye is doing and how it is far ahead of many other towns, not just in Turkey but towns in other countries too.

Hugh Fearnley Whittingstall's War on Waste
Hugh Fearnley Whittingstall’s War on Waste                                                

The changing culture of waste

It wasn’t that long ago that recycling was a natural part of life in Turkey. Empty tins became flowerpots and buckets; plastic bags were largely unknown and shopping was made using string and cloth bags. In those days, clothes were passed on to others or made into rag mats and food was seldom wasted (in Islam it is a sin to throw away food, especially bread). If something was inedible for humans, it was fed to goats or chickens or other animals.

shopping bags from the good old days...
shopping bags like the good old days…

Although there are still areas where this still happens, in recent years supermarkets have proliferated with all the commercial packaging that this way of shopping entails, and even in markets recent legislation requires layers plastic packaging on virtually everything, and your smallest purchase automatically comes with a plastic bag (you have to ask NOT to have one!). What’s more, with increased disposable income, clothes are being discarded along with white goods, furniture, computers and mobile telephones. As a result the amount of waste has become a real problem, specifically when it comes to what to do with the rubbish once it’s been collection.

Adding value to rubbish

It’s a win win situation in Fethiye. What was once a rubbish problem has now become a positive feature for the town; not only does the town’s garbage make money for the municipality and hence the community, its collection is providing much needed employment to 50 local people.

Recycling is increasing every year in Fethiye
Kayden Plastik – Recycling is increasing every year in Fethiye

We want to celebrate the work being done by Hatice Kabak on behalf of Fethiye Municipality.

This community based project, together with Çiftlik based Kaydem Plastik, has been designed to encourage businesses and householders to recycle their rubbish responsibly, and Hatice is getting the word out about how much of what we throw away has value; the rubbish can be used for financing different projects, from renewable energy and environmental protection, supporting local sports initiatives, to buying wheelchairs for people with disabilities.

Fethiye’s going Green!

Self-catering holidaymakers, or residents in Fethiye will probably have already realised that unlike the UK and some other European countries, Turkish householders don’t have individual dustbins. Instead, you will come across a range of garbage disposal bins on the street, of varying shapes and colours; some a covered in a green ‘grass’ covering, which is the towns way of saying this is part of a green project.

In Fethiye it is now encouraged to dispose of waste separately:

Fethiye mayor, Behçet Saatçı checking out one of Fethiye's 'Green' recycling g bins
Fethiye mayor, Behçet Saatçı checking out one of Fethiye’s ‘Green’ recycling bins

In brief, kitchen waste should be separated from:

Cartons, paper, plastic, glass, and metal should be placed separately in a bag or cardboard box by the public dustbins. It will be collected on these days, according to where you live:

District                                Collection day

Karagözler                                                       Tuesday – Saturday

Cumhuriyet                                                     Wednesday – Saturday

Kesikkapı                                                         Monday – Thursday

Tuzla                                                                 Monday – Thursday

Babataşı                                                           Tuesday – Friday

Akarca                                                              Tuesday – Friday

Foça                                                                  Monday – Thursday

Taşyaka                                                            Wednesday – Saturday

Paylangıç                                                          Friday

Pazaryeri                                                          Tuesday

Menteşeoğlu                                                    Tuesday

Cami                                                                  Wednesday

Yeni Mah.                                                         Wednesday

Çatalarık                                                           Wednesday

Karagedik                                                         Wednesday

Ölüdeniz                                                           Wednesday

Göcek                                                                 Friday

Çiftlik                                                                 Wednesday

Karaçuhla                                                         Wednesday

Çamköy                                                             Tuesday

Yeşil Üzümlü                                                    Friday

If you can’t put your recycling out for these days, live in Kayaköy where so far this doesn’t happen, or live far away from a recycling bin, you can take your recycling with you and look out for one of these bins when you are out and about.

Fethiye recycling isn’t rubbish

You can also dispose of your old batteries responsibly and as well as kitchen oil waste…

And don’t forget to keep a compost heap, or to offer your vegetable waste to someone with chickens and goats.

There are also several shops selling second hand clothes (FIG, 3Cs, Animal Aid) and a market devoted to the sale of second hand clothes etc., once a month in Fethiye’s Tuesday market.

The whole concept of second hand and recycling has caught on big time in Fethiye making it the greenest city around.

These aren’t new projects, they have been going for a few years but these have been proved to be beneficial both for the community and, in the long term, can only help Fethiye’s environment.

Let us know what your experiences are and we can share them with Hatice.

Every bit of recycling helps keep Fethiye green

Fethiye recycling isn’t rubbish






  1. That doesn’t make any difference To Thé nature…. it would be very nice if Thé responsible People can come up to üzümlü and stop here and there on the road and look down Thé Canyon. … it is overflow With rubbish.

  2. Dear Sir/Madam

    I have lived in Fethiye for 3 years and would like to say that the rubbish collection in our area is pretty good.
    However the rubbish that is dropped around our streets by gangs of youths is a big problem.
    On the stretch of road 163//4 between Kesikkapi and the Adliye the road is never cleaned of rubbish, this area is used as a dumping place and it is left to a few local resldents to clean up.
    We seem to be fighting a losing battle to keep this area clean from all kinds of rubbish including many glass/beer bottles and any help with street cleaning would be much appreciated.
    Yours sincerely
    Gill Donnellan

  3. We have lived here for 12 years and have noticed how much more rubbish has been dropped in the street, even though there is a bin not far away. It would be good if more designated recycling bins were made available. I live in Kesikkapi or Taşyka Mah as it is now called. The only place to put recycled rubbish is at the side or back of the bins on the path or waste ground. This is very unsightly as a lot can accumulate between collections. Also I have seen the people collecting scrap throw the items for recycling in the bins with kitchen waste. perhaps the schools could help in educating young people in the correct way to dispose of their plastic bottles and sweet wrappers..I hope this is helpful.