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L.Sanjaasuren: Over 1,000 tons of waste is thrown out everyday

By D.SERGELEN

We spoke with L.Sanjaasuren, director of TChM LLC, who makes fences with recycled materials.

There are few countries that keep trash underground like Mongolia. Every city administration has said they will build a recycling plant. But, in reality, nothing has happened.

International approaches to waste management have turned away from landfills, which are used in Mongolia, and prefer the “Three Rs” principle (Reduce, Reuse, Recycle), which decreases waste and recycles it. Some developed countries focus on eliminating and recycling waste completely. But Mongolia has been saying “we will make money from waste” for 20 years, and “we will classify, use and produce” for ten years. Burying waste underground, in particular, in the city limits, is an ecological crime. The biggest source of waste is vodka and beer factories. The production of one bottle of vodka creates a kilo of waste. Honestly, waste management is a sector that has money; income, outcome and a budget. In other words, same as agriculture, cashmere, wool and forestry, it could be a micro lever for the economy. Unfortunately, there is not a relevant ministry for it and responsible workers. There is no policy, mission, promotion, or facilitation. Also, still now, no one initiates new ideas for it and goes after them.

How many recycling facilities are located in Ulaanbaatar?

There are specialists who take care of waste issues in the Ministry of Environment and Green Development. A team of six members works in the city, but none of them are specialists in recycling waste. There are over ten small facilities which conduct waste recycling, and TChM and San-Orgiu recycle waste and plastic bags. Since 2013, we have produced the eight following products: rail crossing gate posts, sanitary sewer grates, column fencing, and curb and green area railings. In total we have recycled over 300 tons of waste.

Is it possible to extend your production?

There is a machine and two small workshops in our factory. The technology is simple. By recycling waste, we make products which can be substituted for cement, armature, and wood. Furthermore, these products can meet customer’s requirements.

I have sought after enhancing our factory for seven to eight years and submitted many projects and programs to the Ulaanbaatar City Administration. Unfortunately, I haven’t been included in any support yet. We did not ask for anything very big to extend our factory. In order to have raw materials and production reserves, I asked for 100 million MNT in support, on the condition to repay it in two years. If 2,000 cubic meters of waste was recycled, the income of society’s vulnerable groups and jobs would increase, and 6,000 tons of cement, armature, and wood would be preserved. Moreover, producing over two billion MNT worth of buildings and city necessities would benefit Mongolia and not only our interests. I will make it clear, we can produce column fencing for drinking water well security, 40,000 posts for highways and railways, sanitary sewer grates, and so on. We really can’t use the reserve we have.

So, in your opinion, how should we improve the waste recycling facilities?

Over 1,000 tons of waste is thrown out in a day, out of which only 20 percent is reused. The vulnerable groups created a waste market. JICA’s survey, worth ten billion USD and conducted for seven years, resulted in a waste recycling facility which was built with  cooperation from Korean investment which wasted six billion MNT, the Tsagaan Davaa waste recycling facility, and garbage bags that cost seven billion MNT. They were all a way of laundering money. Still now, projects that launder money are being implemented. Why do they not support small factories which are doing something real?

If we have some support, Mongolia will have 30,000 posts in reserve and we would prohibit wood and concrete posts. Recently, a tender selection for a waste recycling facility was held, but they chose an unknown company which had not even worked in this sector for one month.

They claim they can produce patented fuel from a ton of waste in a day with two shifts of 60 people. Interestingly, JICA’s study showed that this fuel can’t be used in Mongolia, and there is not a dedicated stove for production, so it will give off toxic fumes. What will we do with over 300 tons of poison?

For all these things that are being directly referred to, there is no one responsible for them in this field.

Short URL: http://ubpost.mongolnews.mn/?p=9371

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