The rapid population growth in Mongolia’s capital Ulaanbaatar has created several challenges; not, least among them is waste management. The fleet of rubbish collection and transportation trucks is decrepit and insufficient in numbers. In addition, at the final disposal sites, waste has simply been dumped and not covered by earth.
Currently, Ulaanbaatar dumps about 1.3 million tonnes of waste per day (the largest part of it is organic waste and ash) in three largest disposal sites. The Ulaan Chuluut Disposal Site is one of largest waste dump sites in Mongolian capital where waste collected from the Sukhbaatar, Songinokhairkhan, Chingeltei, Bayangol and Nalaikh Districts is dumped. Alarmingly, at the Ulaan Chuluut Disposal Site, rubbish has been scattered by the wind to the neighbouring area; this has caused severe environmental damage. The site is also plagued by frequent fires which break out from the coal ash from stoves. This poses a major threat to the residents of the neighbouring district as well as the ubiquitous waste pickers who visit Ulaan Chuluut daily.
The Ulaanbaatar City Administration has decided to clean two disposal sites at Ulaan Chuluut and Tsagaan Davaa and turn them into a Green Park. Currently, land rehabilitation and planting are underway at eight hectares of Ulaan Chuluut. Five companies have signed an agreement with the Ulaanbaatar City Administration to complete the ‘greening’ process within two months. So far, 20 ventilation pipes for methane gas extraction have been installed. The rubbish has been landfilled with 50-70 cm of earth. The project is costing the city budget MNT 2.8 billion.
In addition, solid waste recycling plants are to be constructed at the Ulaan Chuluut and Tsagaan Davaa; these are expected to be completed in 2022.