The Government of Mongolia attaches high priority to environmental protection and nature conservation. About 2 percent of annual GDP is allocated for the environmental protection including energy efficiency, sustainable use of resources, and reduction of environmental pollution and promotion of environmental public education programs. The Ministry of Nature, Environment and Tourism (MNET) is responsible for development and implementation of national environmental policies including policies and management on solid waste throughout the country.
Over the past few years, Mongolia have experienced trends towards increasing solid waste output, mainly due to concentration of the population in urban areas, increased consumption and changes to economic structure. There is no proper solid waste management practice is existing in Mongolia. Therefore inadequate waste disposal system creates huge problems on the environment and human health.
The law on ―Environmental Protection‖ was enacted by the Mongolian Parliament in 1995 and the Government National Plan on ―Waste reduction management‖ was approved in 1999. Several national policies have been developed and approved by the Government such as National Policy on Ecology in 2000, Law on Household and Industrial Waste in 2003 and Law on Hazardous and Toxic Chemicals in 2006. Currently the Ministry of Nature, Environment and Tourism is developing a Waste Reduction Action Plan which expected to get approval by the Parliament in 2011. In addition, the Nature, Environment and Tourism Authority of Darkhan city is completed ―Darkhan-clean city‖ program which was adopted by the Aimag Representative‘s Khural in 2010.
However, the there is a lack of national coordination on waste management policies and the technical and human resources for the solid waste management in the country are inconsistent. Currently insufficient budget is allocated to the waste management at national as well as local level and poor public involvement, particularly NGOs and civil groups.
According to the waste management structure the local governments are responsible for overall management of industrial and domestic solid waste in Mongolia, although most local governing authorities have limited human resources or have neither sufficient financial resources nor the machinery or technology to properly manage waste. The implementation of the Government policy has been delayed, however, in all but areas around the capital city, due to sparse population and insufficient finances, as well as lack of knowledge and technology in relation to the management of waste.
In this connection, the Ministry of Nature, Environment and Tourism has submitted research proposal to the Ministry of Environment of Republic of Korea to seek for technical assistance to undertake the pilot research study on existing solid waste management in Darkhan city. The Government of Korea has accepted the request and the Research agreement was signed between MNET and KECO in May, 2010. The purpose of the research agreement is to assess existing waste management practices in Darkhan city and to develop further management options for the waste management practices for the city.
Currently, the apartment complexes of Darkhan city have relatively efficient waste collection transportation management systems. Separate transfer spaces are installed on the first floor of each building, and waste is discharged into those spaces by trash chutes directly connected to individual apartment units.
However, the Ger areas /traditional dwelling/ has poor waste management system. The current solid waste collection practices seem to be inefficient and costly.
The research study assessed solid waste management issues and the existing waste disposal site at ―Baraat‖ in Darkhan city. The report included background on waste management and results and findings from the waste characterization study of Darkhan city. Based on our research finding we propose 4 project outlines for improving the waste management in Darkhan city.