European Commission has published this project online on the Erasmus+ Project Results Platform. Officially, you can reach a description of our project at the following address: https://ec.europa.eu/programmes/erasmus-plus/projects/eplus-project-details/#project/2020-1-TR01-KA226-VET-098150

Project Title: Smart Decision Tools for Reducing Hazards to Our Environment and Water Resources by Rehabilitating Open Dumps

Project Period: 01.06.2021-31.05.2023

Project Summary: SMARTEnvi project seeks to develop, pilot and test innovative digital tools, training methods, and materials for reducing hazards to our environment and water resources by rehabilitating open dumps. The intellectual outputs of the project, namely smart decision tool for rehabilitation of open dumps, competence tool, multilingual e-learning-platform, learning modules, and smart guidance manual, will help develop competences in various sustainability-relevant sectors so that target groups will be able to deal effectively with rehabilitation of open dumps. The target group includes engineers and other technical personnel in relevant sectors, decision-makers, and researchers. The project will also provide testing of innovative practices to prepare the target groups to become true factors of change.

Solid waste created by people especially in urban areas is a significant problem all over the world that governments are obliged to solve. The disposal of large amounts of these solid wastes from multiple sources generates a high economic and environmental burden to local governments. If not disposed properly, solid waste cause environmental problems and affects human life adversely. Today, the most commonly used method for the disposal of solid waste is the landfill method. However, before the landfill applications, solid waste were disposed randomly to any area outside the city by open dumping. Even in the countries which started to use the landfill method, abandoned open dump sites continue to danger the environment and human health. There are three significant and vital problems in the open dumps: 1) CH4 gas, a greenhouse gas that’s 28 times more potent than CO2, generated from biodegradable solid wastes in anaerobic conditions. The CH4 is explosive when present in the range of 5–15% by volume in air, and becomes flammable when this rate is higher than 15 %. 2) Leachate and the change in soil properties. Leachate is caused by infiltration of rainwater into the solid wastes as well as by the water content of the solid wastes themselves. Change in the soil properties accelerate the magnitude and speed of the leachates which may contain many organic and inorganic pollutants. This leachate percolates through the soil and reaches the groundwater resulting in a substantial risk to local groundwater resources and to the natural environment. 3) Structural stability in open dump sites.

Due to the abovementioned vital problems, open dump sites that are no longer in use need to be rehabilitated and the existing ones should be improved. The European Union has a directive on landfill of wastes (No: 1999/31 / EC), which defines the limitations and procedures to be taken in order to prevent or minimize the threats to the environment. Within the scope of this project, it is planned to produce outputs for target groups on the rehabilitation of open dumping sites which are forgotten and/or ignored after the establishment of a landfill, but still exist as a potential hazard. In many countries that are members or candidates of the European Union, open dumps still represent environmental problems. The partners of this project come together because open dumps represent an environmental hazard in their countries and there is substantial need for decision tools incorporating new technologies, up to date modern training tools and materials, and methodologies.

The partnership consists of universities, private organizations, and municipalities with high reputations in their respective fields which got together according to requirements of the project and experience of the partners. There are nine formal partners and six associated partners from five different countries in the proposed project: the applicant Gebze Technical University, Pamukkale University, and Denizli Metropolitan Municipality, from Turkey; Training 2000 and Municipality of Fano from Italy; Silesian University of Technology from Poland; Sofia University St. Kliment Ohridski and Research and Development Biointech from Bulgaria; and Universitatea Petrol-Gaze din Ploiesti from Romania. Associated partners comprises of professional organizations like chamber of civil and environmental engineers, network of municipalities, private organizations, and societies. All consortium members have necessary experiences which fulfill different tasks foreseen in the project. Because the problem is a common problem in the countries of partners, the solution requires transnational cooperation and sharing the resources and developing results applicable to this international problem.

In addition to above mentioned contribution, the SMARTEnvi project may support to creation of new job opportunities by providing up-skilling or re-skilling of those affected from adverse employment conditions via its products such as smart decision tools incorporating new technologies, up to date modern training tools and materials, and methodologies.