Waste Collection and Transportation Management in Ulaanbaatar (WCTM)

Project completed
View of Ulaanbaatar city
View of Ulaanbaatar city ©Bayasgalan

The project aims to contribute to an effective, efficient and financially sustainable collection and transportation system for solid waste in Ulaanbaatar, based on Swiss and international practices. The intervention will contribute to improve the services, introduce a transparent tariff system and support the implementation of the new law on waste management. It targets the underserved and least developed areas of the capital (ger areas) where most poor people reside, aiming at decreasing inequalities.

Country/region Topic Period Budget
Employment & economic development
Climate change and environment
Urban development
Environmental policy
Business support & economic inclusion
01.04.2019 - 31.03.2023
CHF  3’850’000

Mongolia is facing a rapid urbanisation, with consequent challenges in the service delivery to the residents of Ulaanbaatar. In particular, solid waste is increasing exponentially, reaching 1.1 mln tons in 2016 (0.5 kg/person/day). 60% of Ulaanbaatar’s population (and the majority of the poor people) live in ger areas in dwellings which are mostly individually heated with coal stoves, have limited access to basic services such as water, sewage, central heating or waste collection.

Waste collection in ger areas happens 10 times less compared to apartment area, however the monthly charge is 25% higher than in apartment areas. A new Law on Waste Management (2017) defines the organization and the funding for waste management, but its implementation needs to be ensured. Specific bylaws and regulations need to be elaborated or updated and the fee system should be differentiated for each category of waste and its collection ensured. Currently, waste fees are included in electricity bills, but only 64% of households pay for waste collection. Planning, organisation, financing, supervision and management of waste collection, transport or recycling waste are domains where capacities are in need of constant improvement.

Objectives Ger area residents in Ulaanbaatar live in a cleaner and healthier environment as waste collection and transportation management is effective and cost-efficient and benefiting all.
Target groups
  • Women and men living in ger area districts Small businesses situated in the same area.
  • Both local government owned and private waste management service providers (TUKs),
  • The Municipality of Ulaanbaatar and its districts
  • The Ministry of Environment and Tourism and other ministries will benefit from the effective implementation of laws and regulations, namely, the new Law on Waste Management (2017).
Medium-term outcomes
  • Regulations for the implementation of new law are in place and conduct to an effective public waste management
  • Improved service quality and effectiveness in waste collection and transportation in selected districts districts is achieved and acknowledged by residents
  • Improved financial sustainability and efficiency of waste management

Expected results:  

  • Relevant inclusive regulations developed for effectiveness, efficiency and financial sustainability in relation to objectives and targeted on demand based technical assistance to selective Ministries and MUB
  • GPS based monitoring of waste collection and transport by contractors is established based on a feasibility study for technical optimisation
  • Improved contracting model is established focused on service efficiency and improved accountability
  • Capacitated workers in the waste sector
  • Adjusted waste collection and disposal tariff system based on per capita collection method
  • An improved client registry database and billing system for households and businesses
  • Both municipality and TUKs have applied improved cost calculation and budgetary tools
  • Transparent environment for Waste Management service, sourcing and provision for consumers, service providers and government is enabled

Results from previous phases:   n/a 

Directorate/federal office responsible SDC
Credit area Development cooperation
Project partners Contract partner
Private sector
Foreign state institution
  • Central State of South East
  • Foreign private sector North

Other partners

The partner was selected through an international open tender

  • The lead consultant is COWI A/S, a Danish consulting firm recognized as among the leading international waste management specialists and with substantial experience in developing and transition countries.
  • EBP Schweiz AG, a Swiss engineering and consulting firm which often partnered with SECO and SDC, is a sub-contractor of COWI
  • The second sub-contractor, ICON LLC, is a Mongolian private company with experience in environment, energy efficiency and waste management, long-standing partner of COWI in other projects in Mongolia.
Coordination with other projects and actors

Close collaboration will be ensured with the EBRD (Ulaanbaatar Solid Waste Modernisation project), which is implemented by the same Consultant, the TAF (Promotion of Green Technologies in Waste Management) and other international organisations to share and coordinate activities, expertise and actions in relation to policies and regulations.

Synergies with the SDC governance domain projects which deal with improvement of public funds management and public services will be promoted, in particular with the Urban Governance Project (UGP) and PIE2 (sectoral governance/energy efficiency, ger areas).

Budget Current phase Swiss budget CHF    3’850’000 Swiss disbursement to date CHF    3’102’596
Project phases

Phase 1 01.04.2019 - 31.03.2023   (Completed)