How we invest in our planet in Mongolia
April 22, 2022 News

How we invest in our planet in Mongolia

Earth day is celebrated annually on the 22nd of April to raise awareness about growing concerns of overpopulation, loss of biodiversity and depleting quality of the environment. The theme for the Earth Day 2022 is “Invest in our planet”. How does Caritas Czech Republic in Mongolia together with partners invest in the planet that we all share and what efforts are being made for protecting the environment?

We have established and opened the first fully operational waste management facility in rural area

Mongolia is suffering from plastic pollution and does not have enough facilities to deal with excessive waste. That is why we have been aiming to establish an efficient waste management system and to support the development of the sustainable waste management and recycling systems for the past two years.

Under our project Sustainable Plastic Recycling in Mongolia(SPRIM), project partner Ecosoum has constructed the first fully operational waste management facility on the soum level. The new waste management facility opened a month ago, and many local citizens already came to drop their sorted waste instead of throwing it directly into landfills.

photo in facilityThe project team will start the first trials with the recycling machine soon.

On the soum level, we have:

  • Collected 6000 PET bottles for the new waste management facility over the course of two years;
  • Organized capacity-building training sessions for CSOs in waste management and involved 28 organizations;
  • Distributed 77 waste sorting bins to households in an area with a total population of 3056 residents and 988 households;
  • Organized “Training of Trainers” and involved 9 teachers of secondary schools and kindergartens in Bulgan soum.

Khishig-Undur soum previously had no waste management system, no recycling processes and has one of the biggest landfills in the province; yet it is striving to become the first zero-waste soum in Mongolia.

Training local organizations

One of the ways we help in Mongolia is by training local civil society organizations that are conscious about plastic waste management issues to encourage them to build managerial and technical capacities. Thus, we have organized a “Civil Society Organizations for Change” training program and involved 40 Civil Society Organizations’representatives in Ulaanbaatar city. Out of which, 29 representatives completed the program.

In cooperation with the Environmental Pollution and Waste Management Department of the Ulaanbaatar City Municipality we also organized additional training to prepare trainers out of participants who completed the program and to support their further awareness activities.

On the Ulaanbaatar city level, we have also:

  • Organized a “Training of Trainers” and involved 11 teachers of secondary schools and kindergartens. We have organized 22 awareness-raising training for a total of 525 individuals in Ulaanbaatar city;
  • Organized performance of “Garbage Monster” play by Creative Bamboo theater for 240 children;
  • Organized the “Do not just throw away” campaign in cooperation with Ungu Nem NGO, Lantuun Dohio NGO and Plastic Center LLC;
  • Created a playground from recycled plastic waste for 500 children;

Protected 12,000 km2 area from soil and groundwater contamination by producing latrine linings for eco-toilets, from 20 tons of LDPE plastic waste collected during the campaign.


Distributing bins for selected khoroos

Furthermore, we have been working closely with three selected khoroos, representing diverse housing types in Mongolia. Bayanzurkh 15th khoroo includes all residential blocks, Songinokhairkhan 9th khoroo consists of ger areas, whereas Nalaikh 5th khoroo, located at a greater distance from the city centre, is a combination of both. The baseline studies and on-location meetings revealed interesting insights, including the need for basic sorting bins and awareness-raising training sessions on waste management and sustainable consumption. 

In order to promote recycling practices, residents need tools, knowledge and appropriate incentives that will lead them to switch to new and more responsible habits. Therefore, we have provided residents of three khoroos with a total of 77 sorting bins, organized capacity-building training sessions on waste management, provided them with viable transportation options that pay for recyclables and will follow-up on the sorting and transportation of waste. The targeted khoroos will lead as an example for other districts and even other regions in Mongolia.


Тhe SPRIM project is funded by the European Union (SWITCH-Asia program), with four project partners, namely the Environment and Security Center of Mongolia, Ecosoum, Mongolian Sustainable Development Bridge and T.G. Masaryk Water Research Institute.