In this study, activated carbon (WA11Zn5) was prepared from waste apricot, which is waste in apricot plants in Malatya, by chemical activation with ZnCl2. BET surface area of activated carbon is determined as 1060 m(2)/g. Activated carbon includes both micro and mesopores. Percentages of micropores and mesopores area are determined 36% and 74%, percentage of micropores and mesopores volume is 19% and 81%, respectively. The ability of WA11Zn5, to remove three dyes, methylene blue (MB), malachite green (MG), and crystal violet (CV), from effluent solutions by adsorption has been studied. The adsorption capacities of WA11Zn5 decreases in the order malachite green (MG) > methylene blue (MB) > crystal violet (CV). Equilibrium isotherms for the adsorption of three dyes on activated carbon were measured experimentally. Results were analyzed by the Langmiur, Freundlich, Dubinin-Redushkevich (D-R), Temkin, Frumkin, Harkins-Jura, Halsey and Henderson equation using linearized correlation coefficient at different temperature. The characteristic parameters for each isotherm have been determined. Models and the isotherm constant were evaluated depending on temperature. Langmiur and Frumkin equation is found to best represent the equilibrium data for three dye-WA11Zn5 systems. (c) 2005 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.