Submitted by Ministry of Nature Environment and Tourism

(Note: The Ministry of Nature Environment and Tourism provided a narrative response)

Summary of information
Highest priority waste streams
Highest priority areas of capacity building
Narrative summary
Mongolia (Ministry of Nature Environment and Tourism)’s responses to the needs assessment survey suggest that the main waste streams concerning the country are municipal solid waste (MSW), industrial waste and hazardous waste. Although policies and regulations exist for these waste streams, the country needs to improve its technical capacity for waste management. A number of ideas have been suggested by the responses. Partnerships with the private sector, whether national or international, would be helpful for the construction of waste management facilities. Public support for waste management and the implementation of responsibility systems covering all stakeholders would also simplify the challenges faced by governmental authorities.

Municipal solid waste (MSW)
MSW is currently the highest volume waste stream generated in Mongolia. In winter, the waste stream also consists of a significant quantity of coal and cinder used for heating. The waste stream is mainly treated by landfilling. Although 3R plans and laws on waste plastics exist, only small treatment facilities are available. Technical capacity for MSW management thus requires improvement. Studies for waste management in the country are currently being conducted in South Korea. They need to be expanded to cover the research of technologies to recover energy, as well as the treatment of the specific coal and cinder waste generated in winter. The responses suggest that Mongolia can draw from the experiences, methods and technologies of other countries in waste management in training its own human resources. Participation in MSW management also needs to be expanded to all stakeholders. The procurement of equipment and building of facilities needs to be achieved through partnerships with the private sector. Finally, public awareness campaigns to support the purchase of ecologically friendly products and waste segregation for recycling would be beneficial.

Hazardous waste and industrial waste
There is an increasing need for better hazardous waste management in Mongolia, given that the country imports a significant amount of second-hand goods from China, South Korea, Singapore and the United States. Hazardous chemical waste and e-waste are often generated due to the short life-span of these products. Waste is also generated due to the lack of a repair industry and the lack of spare parts for products with partial defects. To address the waste stream, Mongolia has ratified international treaties (such as the Basel, Rotterdam, and Stockholm Conventions), while national legislation has been in force since 2000. Strategic plans for hazardous waste management (such as the National Programme on Decreasing Waste) are also in place. However, the responses suggest that a responsibility system (of producers or waste generators) would ensure the contribution of more stakeholders towards waste management. A partnership with the Hungarian firm “Kornezet” is expected to develop facilities for hazardous waste disposal, however more participation from the private sector would be beneficial.

Other wastes
Urban renewal projects and the demolishment of former Soviet facilities have led to an increasing need for better construction and demolition waste management in Mongolia. Much of demolition waste, especially of former military facilities, is left untreated and dumped at source. Organic waste and waste agricultural biomass (WAB) is also produced heavily in the country, but is similarly left untreated. Legal measures should be strengthened, while facilities need to be built for the treatment of these waste streams.