TerraCycle enlists Turkish software specialist for digital waste tracking amid fraud allegations
24 Mar 2022 --- Turkish waste management specialist Evreka is partnering with TerraCycle to provide digital tracking services for its recycling streams. The collaboration says it will “revolutionize” the collection and disposal methods of packaging waste throughout Europe and North America.
Evreka uses digital tracking and monitoring systems to ensure trash is gathered, transported, recycled, or disposed of in suitable manners, allowing companies like TerraCycle to prove their services are operating honestly and efficiently.
The partnership comes as TerraCycle faces serious legal allegations of fraud, having been discovered transporting waste destined for recycling in the UK to a Bulgarian incineration site – something it claims was an accident. The company also recently settled a lawsuit in the US for making false claims about its operations.
Evreka’s software management is intended to ensure greater transparency for the company and avoid future public scandals. “With our cutting edge waste management technology that uses real-time, optimized data, we aim to revolutionize the waste collection operations for all TerraCycle waste streams,” says the company.
TerraCycle’s protective measures
Tom Szaky, CEO of TerraCycle, says employing Evreka’s technology will help prevent any future scenarios in which the company loses track of its waste.
“This software provides us the ability to centralize and scale the tracking of all waste movements through each step of our global supply chain from receipt through multiple stages of sortation and processing to final recycling,” says Szaky.
“The centralization and tracking methods implemented will allow third-party certification of our recycling claims beyond any standards we’ve seen within the waste industry.”
The solutions are scheduled to be deployed within TerraCycle’s European and North American operations beginning this month, with additional markets following throughout 2022.
Evreka’s software will also provide asset and operations management solutions for TerraCycle’s Material Recovery Facilities (MRFs) and will work in tandem with the company’s current systems. Data from the MRF will be stored in Evreka’s all-in-one management platform, which can monitor the waste as it moves through the recycling process.
Umutcan Duman, CEO of Evreka, says: “We have achieved new successes by broadening the variety of our product range to ensure optimization in all aspects of waste management. Through these successes, it is especially exhilarating to know that our efforts in digitizing waste management have found a purpose toward a greater cause, where we can advance the frontiers of sustainability for a better world.”
“We hope to help tackle the global waste problem and develop inclusive [environmentally] sustainable solutions by working with public and private sector partners across different industries, including waste generators, processors, recyclers, brand owners, and regulators.”
Turkey’s waste management crisis
Despite Evreka, which is based in the Turkish capital Ankara, developing what it says are world class-leading waste management solutions, the country is marred by serious pollution and human health problems resulting from landfilling and incineration.
After the Chinese government banned waste imports in 2017, Turkey became one of the world’s premier destinations for disposing of often hazardous materials, particularly from Europe. In 2020, Greenpeace found that roughly 40% of the UK’s entire plastic packaging trash had ended up in the Turkish environment, often illegally transported and then burned or buried.
As a result, Turkey is facing an ongoing crisis of unlicensed and uninsured waste management facilities using undocumented migrant labor to dispose of the flood of trash swamping the country. Recently, environmental scientists mapped hundreds of fires at these sites that they suspect to be arson attacks by facility owners who burn down their warehouses as a means of cheaply destroying waste.
According to local journalists, this often causes serious injury and possible death to the workers (who usually live on-site). Interpol has been investigating the issue of illegal incineration and arson at waste facilities for some time.
By Louis Gore-Langton
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