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A FIRST IN TURKEY: ZERO-WASTE THEME PARK

The Zero-Waste Theme Park established in Kocaeli Basiskele Yesilkent District, became a pioneer in Turkey with artworks that has been transformed from several factory and company wastes. The park is an urban area that spread over an approximate of three thousand square meters with bowers and sea view sitting areas where you can enjoy pleasing times.


Assoc. Prof. Dr. Nermin DEMIRKOL

Kocaeli University Faculty of Fine Arts Ceramic Department Academician


Established in Yesilkent District as part of zero-waste, recycling and recovery projects with the lead of the estimable Basiskele Mayor M. Yasin Ozlu, the Zero-Waste Theme Park, with dense use of several factory and company wastes and their transformation to artworks, is featured as a first in Turkey. With project coordinatorship and consultancy of Kocaeli University Faculty of Fine Arts Ceramic Department academician Assoc. Prof. Dr. Nermin Demirkol, the Zero-Waste Theme Park is established over a total of 2 thousand 900 m2 area and includes 7 sections of 108 m2 each. Other than metal, ceramic-porcelain, glass, plastic, wood and car tire sections, the wide use of electronic wastes in various points around the park is also attracting attention. With 9 bowers and sitting areas besides, it's also a pleasant place where people can rest and have joyful time. This article gives detailed information on sections of ceramic-porcelain and glass wastes.


In the park section composed of ceramic and porcelain wastes, there are the mosaic designs created with cracked and broken unused porcelain products such as plate, bowl and cup which comes out defective from the kiln of Kutahya Porcelain Factory, a global player in world's porcelain industry with its' production capacity, technology and product development capability manufacturing home series, hotel collections, porcelain braisers and tableware with an experience of over half a century. Kutahya Porcelain adopts a holistic sustainability approach and continues its' activities integrated with nature in line with its' strategy of gaining sustainable favor for society and these wastes of its' factory are transformed into works of art by the project coordinator Kocaeli University Faculty of Fine Arts Ceramic Department academician Assoc. Prof. Dr. Nermin Demirkol and the ND Zero-Waste and Design Team. There is an aquarium with koi fishes in it, a labyrinth, bent game and mosaic works made in cat form. And around these special designs, waste vitrified ceramic tile pieces are used which are taken from the Koctas and Seramiksan factories. Turkish Ceramics Federation made a great contribution in getting in touch with the companies and factories that will provide waste and consumables support to this park which is an academic study and a social responsibility project. Kalekim ceramic adhesives granted through the agency of TCF, are used in assembling the mosaics.

Visual 1: A Section of the Mosaic Bench Created by ND Zero-Waste and Design Team From the Broken and Defective Porcelain Plates of Kutahya Porselen A.S. Factory

Visual 2: The Mosaic Labyrinth Created by ND Zero-Waste and Visual 3: Mosaic Aquarium and Koi Fishes Created by ND Design Team From the Broken and Defective Porcelain Plates Zero-Waste and Design Team With the Broken and of Kutahya Porselen A.S. Factory Defective Porcelains


The idle wooden benches in the Basiskele Municipality, turned into mosaic works using Kutahya Porcelain wastes with the special designs prepared by Demirkol and her team. Tables which are made of wooden pulleys and tree trunks by the Basiskele Municipality's Parks Department, are turned into mosaic tables with Seljukian patterns and aquarium view. And on the front face of the wall located in this area, there is a digitally printed ceramic board prepared using waste ceramic tiles and ceramic inks from Akcoat. The photograph on the board showing the Basiskele coast, has been shot by Feridun Hacihasanzade. And on the back of the wall, there are digitally printed ceramic boards prepared using waste ceramic tiles and waste inks from Usak Ceramic. The photography titled ‘Gulls’ shot by Aygul Ozturk and the one titled 'Fishing Boat' shot by Hasan Zer, are showing the Basiskele coast.








Visual: Ceramic Table with Seljukian Patterns Made Using Broken and Defective Porcelains







Mosaic coated mushrooms located around the ceramic area, are specially prepared by Assoc. Prof. Dr. Nermin Demirkol's Zero-Waste and Design Team. While preparing the mushroom bodies and parasols, block glass wastes from Akcoat enamel frit kiln bottoms, are used as a reinforcement element alongside cement. And in mosaic coatings, cracked and broken porcelain plates from Kutahya Porcelain are used.

In Basiskele Municipality's Zero-Waste Park's section composed of glass wastes, the wastes of Akcoat, Uludag and Peramics companies are used.


The turtle designs in this section are created by Kocaeli University Faculty of Fine Arts Ceramic Department academician Assoc. Prof. Dr. Nermin Demirkol's Zero-Waste and Design Team. The turtle skeletons are made by Parks Department teams using the metal wastes in Basiskele Municipality Department of Civil Works. And the interior of turtles are filled using frit kiln bottom debris of the Akcoat company, world's leading chemical coating manufacturer under the roof of Akkok Holding group of companies. There are many various colors from black to cobalt blue and honey which resembles precious stones so to speak in the glass blocks used. These colors and the form of the glass blocks can be observed more clearly at evening hours thanks to the lighting system installed. The company is greatly glad to see and use these glass blocks that once were being used as debris and now as works of art in Basiskele Municipality Zero-Waste Park.

Visual 4: Zero-Waste Theme Park Glass Section


Lotuses on the ground are created by the sculpturer Huseyin Ceylan from Demirkol's team with polyester casting using Uludag Premium soda bottles which are returned or defective products of the Uludag company. The company collected these bottles from several cities around Turkey and delivered them to Basiskele and contributed in shaping this meaningful work. These lotuses that seem as polyester are filled with glass bottle fragments in the interior.


And the benches covered with glass mosaics in the area are created by repairing the idle benches in Basiskele Municipality and covering them with the Peramics company's glass mosaic catalogue wastes. Demirkol and her team covered the benches with the glass mosaic wastes they carefully selected among old catalogue wastes. Municipality's benches that are out of service became new, aesthetical, artistic and functional.


There are two vases in the section created using glass bottles and glass mosaics. The design of the vases belongs to Assoc. Prof. Dr. Nermin Demirkol and the bottles used are Uludag company's returned and defective soda and water bottles and the glass mosaics used on top and bottom of the vases are Premics company's old catalogue waste materials. There are leds in some of the bottles used in the vases. This way, a different kind of atmosphere is created in the park at evening hours by means of the illuminated effect of cobalt blue bottles. Parks Department employees and Demirkol's team took charge in manufacturing the vases.

Visual 5: Glass Vase and Turtles in the Glass Section


The bottle tree in the area, is made using the waste metal rods in Basiskele Municipality's Civil Works Department and returned or defective Uludag Premium soda bottles and waste green soda bottles collected by the Uludag company from various cities and sent to Basiskele. The revealed art is sculpturer Muhammet Isci's work from Demirkol's Zero-Waste and Design team. It resembles a living tree so to speak with the light illuminated from below at evening time.


There's also a pine tree in the park's glass section which's created with cobalt blue soda bottles using fusion technique that means mixture and merging. The art work is presented by the ceramic artist Pakize Yavuz from Demirkol's team and is an aesthetic example of putting glass bottles to good use. In various places around the park, there are also flowers made with fusion technique using waste bottles. And in park entrance, there's the fusion recycling logo created by Yavuz by crushing the waste soda bottles, shaping them on a mold to create a recycling logo and heat-treating them in fusion kiln at 850 ºC. There are also various forms and recycling logos created with glass bottles using fusion technique on the glass entrance door and the entrance gates of the park. The hexagonal form of the glass section is created with waste cobalt blue glass bottles of the Uludag company.


A beautiful way of using waste glass bottles as a first in Turkey, is the bottle path located in the center area of the park. The hexagon surrounding the center area is made with the glass path designed by Demirkol. The path is created by embedding waste bottles into concrete in a way to form diamond embossings and the bottle sides and the top concrete floor are covered with mosaics with Koctas ceramic tile wastes. The workmanship of the path is made by the construction team of Basiskele Municipality's Parks Department.

Visual 6: Bottle path made with returned, defective bottles and waste tile pieces


On 30th November 2022, the Zero-Waste Theme Park is introduced to the people with a magnificent launch. All collaborator companies are presented with thank you plaques in the introduction program and Assoc. Prof. Dr. Nermin Demirkol's Zero-Waste and Design Team is presented with a certificate of participation by the Basiskele District Governor Dear Necip Cakmak and Basiskele Mayor Dear M. Yasin Ozlu. Hosting many domestic and abroad visitors and being a common project of Kocaeli University and Basiskele Municipality, the Zero-Waste Theme Park is deemed worthy of the 'Environmentalist of the Year' award by Kocaeli Newspaper in 2022.

Visual 7: Factory and Company Officials Presented With Visual 8: In Behalf of Turkish Ceramics Federation Yasemin Plaquesin the Zero-Waste Theme Park Introduction Program Ercetin Took the Thank You Plaque from the Basiskele District Governor Necip Cakmak


Beside winning great recognition with its' works of art composed of ceramic-porcelain, glass, metal, plastic, car tire, wooden and electronic wastes, the park has both a fun feature and an educatory feature with workshops for every age group.


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