Speaking exclusively to letsrecycle.com in a podcast interview, Mr Erjan Yurekli, who is owner of the business and also vice president of TUDAM, Turkey’s National Recycling Organisation, said that the Turkish industry is “growing fast, very fast, I can tell you that 10 years ago our production capacity was not more than 1.5 million tonnes but today’s figures are around 4.5 million tonnes per year production capacity”. Over the next three years capacity will increase to 6.5 million tonnes.
But, he also raised concerns about the quality of some material which Turkey receives from the UK and Ireland.
While used cardboard (OCC/Old KLS) is usually of high quality as his business primarily sources supermarket tonnages, Mr Ercan said that mixed paper quality can be poor. He said: “When it comes to mixed paper the situation is getting worse. The quality of the mixed paper is not good so lately we have some major problems with quality, not just from the UK but also from Ireland, we had problems with the quality and also about the moisture content.”
(above: click to listen to the interview, or below on Spotify)
He also referenced the UK’s commingling of recyclable material from the domestic recycling stream.
Mr Ercan Yurekli said: “With the UK or Ireland now if they are having this kind of collection system, that’s because in those times it was very easy to sell whatever you had, no need to separate, no need to make proper bales, whatever you had as waste, you shipped to China – they were buying everything. Now there is a new challenge and coronavirus has also changed the market. Everybody has to focus on quality, everybody has to focus to minimise the cost and maximise the quality of the grades.”
FOR AN INDICATIVE TRANSCRIPT OF THE INTERVIEW, CLICK HERE (opens as PDF)
The podcast is also available on Spotify:
(below: one of the stockyards of the Yurekli business in Istanbul)