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EBRD and EU improve waste management in Ulaanbaatar

By Volker Ahlemeyer

EBRD and EU improve waste management in Ulaanbaatar

Ulaanbaatar has grown rapidly over the past few years.

  • EBRD loan of US$ 9.7 million and EU funding of €4.9 million (US$ 6.0 million equivalent) to improve municipal waste services in Ulaanbaatar
  • Financing to be invested in new landfill and better waste management and to introduce new plant for waste from construction and demolition
  • First EBRD municipal project in Mongolia will improve quality of life for 1.4 million people in Ulaanbaatar and make it a greener city

The EBRD is providing a US$ 9.7 million loan (€7.9 million equivalent) to Ulaanbaatar municipality to improve the city’s waste management.

The funding will help the Mongolian capital invest in a landfill that complies with EU standards, purchase new waste-collection equipment and introduce a construction- and demolition-waste plant. The investment is supported by €4.9 million in funding from the European Union (EU).

Mongolia’s capital Ulaanbaatar has expanded rapidly in recent years from an estimated 800,000 inhabitants in 2000 to 1.4 million in 2018. This increase in population has put a strain on municipal services, including solid waste management. It has also led to an increase in construction activities and related waste, which is currently being disposed of in the existing landfills or other locations without being crushed or recycled.

With the additional landfill, the city will be in a position to dispose of a significant part of its waste in line with EU standards, while new equipment will help to improve waste collection, transportation, recycling and disposal services and lead to higher environmental and hygiene standards. Furthermore, a new specialised waste facility will help to recycle construction and demolition waste.

These improvements are an important step towards making Mongolia’s capital a greener city. Ulaanbaatar faces various urban challenges. These include a high level of pollution, which stems from the vast expansion of the ger districts where many inhabitants live in traditional yurts and burn coal or wood to heat their homes during the long, cold winter.

The investment is part of a comprehensive Green City Action Plan, which will be developed by the municipality to identify the key environmental challenges and related green investments. It is part of the EBRD’s work with various cities across its regions to help them tackle these challenges in a cost-efficient manner, improve municipal services and build green economies.

The project is also supported by technical cooperation funds from the Republic of Korea and Japan.

The EBRD works in Mongolia to build a diverse economy by developing the private sector and supporting infrastructure improvements. The Bank has invested more than €1.4 billion in almost 100 projects in the country, since it started operations there in 2006.

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