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Asian Development Bank

100 Climate Actions from Cities in Asia and the Pacific


Four provincial capitals will enact comprehensive solid waste management schemes for the first time, with a focus on the three “R”s: reduce, reuse, and recycle.

The Managing Solid Waste in Secondary Cities project intends to reduce environmental pollution, enhance community awareness, and increase the recycling of resources in the cities of Darkhan, Altai, Baruun-Urt, and Arvaikheer. This $2 million initiative is funded by the Japan Fund for Poverty Reduction, and will focus on the three “R”s of reduction of waste at the source, reusing, and recycling. Pilot community practices for waste reuse will be implemented, and 15 waste recycle shops will be opened.


New controlled landfills and transfer stations will also be constructed, with clay lining, retaining walls, and diversion channels to minimize leakage and groundwater contamination. The new facilities, due to be completed by 2023, will be built with climate change adaptation in mind, with additional culverts and raised embankments in flood-prone areas.

An education campaign will be launched utilizing social media and other channels, and by the end of the project period in 2022, 24% of waste in targeted communities is expected to be recycled.

The project is expected to help Mongolia progress to its target of recycling 40% of solid waste nationwide by 2030 (photo by Alfonso Navarro via Unsplash)

The Challenge

Waste generation increased seven-fold from 2008 to 2017, but most cities still rely on open waste dump sites and only 1% of waste is currently reused.


Health Reducing the open burning and disposal of waste in uncontrolled landfills will improve the reproductive and general health of residents.

Social The project will improve employment in the informal trash collection and recycling sector, where individuals currently work in unsafe conditions at disposal sites.

Environment Environmental pollution from current waste management techniques, including groundwater contamination, will be reduced.