WASTE MANAGEMENT PROJECT
GENERAL INFORMATION ABOUT OUR PROJECT
Ecosoum started working on waste management issues since its creation end of 2018. Since mid-2020, our activities are now part of a larger 4-years program called "Sustainable Plastic Recycling in Mongolia" (SPRIM), in partnership with four other organisations.
Within this broader framework, Ecosoum’s main objective remains to set up an efficient and sustainable waste management system in Khishig-Undur, by promoting waste reducing, sorting and recycling, aiming at zero ultimate waste on the scale of the soum.
Our project is divided into 3 main goals:
1. to raise awareness among the population and local institutions and to provide everyone with proper equipment so that waste sorting at source can be properly implemented.
2. to set up a proper waste management facility in which all sorted waste will be processed, either through local recycling or via transportation towards urban recyclers.
3. to reduce the size and secure the old open dumpsite, as well as other wild dumps, which have been growing out of control and are now polluting large areas of pasture land.
MAIN DONORS AND PARTNERS
Our first activities were carried out thanks to the support of individual donations, The Asia Foundation and the local administration of Khishig-Undur soum.
Since our activities are part of the SRPRIM project, our main donor has been the SWITCH-Asia II programme of the European Union, with co-fundings from the embassy of the Czech Republic in Mongolia, and public administrations of Bulgan province and Khishig-Undur soum.
Our main implementing partners are Caritas Czech Republic, Environment and Security Center of Mongolia, Mongolian Sustainable Development Bridge and Water Research Institute.
MAIN ACTIVITIES CARRIED OUT
AWARENESS-RAISING OF THE POPULATION AND LOCAL INSTITUTIONS
From the beginning of the project, our first activities have been focused on raising the awareness of the population and staff of local institutions (administration, school, kindergarten and hospital). We summarised the most important information about waste management on a dedicated page of our website, but we are convinced that ongoing discussion with everyone is necessary for all to keep improving. That is why we keep organizing frequent awareness-raising and training events and produce new informative material and videos.
RESEARCH STUDIES AND ANALYSES
In order to be able to design and set up a relevant waste management system in Khishig-Undur, we have been conducting several studies and produced detailed reports, which included both quantitative measuring and extensive interviews of local stakeholders. All our reports are available on our website.
ADVOCACY AND SUPPORT TO LOCAL AUTHORITIES
Our advocacy work with the soum authorities to encourage them to take more action towards better waste management has gradually evolved into true collaboration as mutual trust was built up. Ecosoum is now involved in all authorities' discussions and decisions regarding waste management and we do our best to support them in all aspects of the issue.
WASTE PICKING AND CLEANING EVENTS
Ecosoum wants to clean and restore all areas impacted by waste, including by greatly reducing the soum’s old open dumpsite. We frequently organize or support waste picking and cleaning events in order to progressively get closer to our waste-free soum goal.
PRODUCTION AND DISTRIBUTION OF WASTE SORTING EQUIPMENT
As we encourage people and institutions to sort their waste, we believe it is essential to provide everyone with suitable equipment to ease the process and facilitate changes of habits. We have been manufacturing hundreds of metal recyclable waste sorting bins that have been distributed to households. We also help public institutions to organise waste sorting within their premises.
REPLACEMENT OF SINGLE-USE PLASTIC ITEMS BY REUSABLE ONES
Since reducing the production of waste is actually much better than just recycling it, we strive to promote a transition from single-use disposable items to reusable ones. The first step taken by the association was to replace the single-use plastic shoe-covers which were used in the hospital and kindergarten to avoid dirtying buildings by reusable ones made out of fabric. Similar changes will be encouraged whenever relevant and possible.
MANUFACTURE AND ACQUISITION OF WASTE MANAGEMENT AND RECYCLING MACHINES
We manufactured some plastic recycling machines and purchased additional machines that we needed to recycled as much waste as possible locally. First recycling tests were carried out and will be further experimented until we manage to produce good quality useful products that are to be distributed among the local population.
GUIDANCE RECOMMENDATIONS AND OVERSEEING OF DUMPSITE REDUCTION
As Khishig-Undur’s dumpsite is extremely wide, we recommended to reduce its size by regrouping and piling all waste on a much smaller area. We helped local administration to design the public call and set the terms of reference. Field work started end of 2020 following our recommendations and will continue until the entire area is totally cleaned.