Integrated solid waste management strategy of a large campus: A comprehensive study on METU campus, Turkey

Bahcelioglu, Ecem
Bugdayci, E. Selin
Dogan, Nazli B.
Simsek, Naz
Kaya, Sinan O.
Alp, Emre
A significant amount of solid waste generation from various streams become inevitable for large campuses due to their large population and variety of activities taking place on the campus. Therefore, it is a challenge to develop and implement an Integrated Solid Waste Management plan for large campuses to aid sustainable campus practices. The aim of this study is to develop sustainable strategies that will support the Integrated Solid Waste Management plan for Middle East Technical University which has one of the largest campuses in Turkey. METU is an international research university with about 27000 students. The campus area is 4500 ha including residential areas which have a capacity of 7000 students, a shopping center, banks, food courts, indoor sports facilities, tennis courts, soccer fields, swimming pools, dormitories, cafeterias, a science park, 3000 ha of forest area, a shallow lake, and department buildings. This comprehensive study includes evaluation of the effectiveness of current solid waste management strategies through data collection process which includes intense monitoring of the waste generation, site visits, compost experiments, interviews with the administrations responsible for the solid waste management, and surveys to understand the social behavior of the students. The results show that the average daily solid waste generation factor is 0.40 kg/day/cap and the total amount of waste generated varies between 5.8 and 10.3 tons/day on a weekly basis on the campus. In addition, it was found that the total collected recyclable waste accounts for 13% of the total waste generated. The complete evaluation resulted in the development of strategies (behavioral, structural and managerial) to decrease the solid waste generation rate, increase the recyclable material collection rate and initiate compost activities.