Mongolia: Turning Garbage into Gold
Every day, the Ulaanbaatar City produces 1,100 tons of solid waste, without formal recycling mechanism in place.
Every year, over 10,000 households move to the capital city in search of a better life. But many of them reside at the city outskirts, struggling to get employed.
Both problems, environmental degradation and urban poverty, are hindering the development of the city. Is there a way to kill two birds with one stone?
Indeed, that's what TG2G - Turning Garbage into Gold - is trying to achieve.
TG2G is developed and executed by Tehnoj, an Ulaanbaatar-based non-governmental organisation. Selected items were designed by Tehnoj and training opportunities were provided to the identified community groups on making products and testing them.
The programme is currently operational in three of Ulaanbaatar’s outer districts: Khan-Uul, Chingeltei and Songino Khairkhan, and includes 20 production groups of around five to six people each.
The programme has trained groups in the creation of six main products: brooms, chairs, foot covers (often used for walking in temples or schools), picnic mats, waterproof ger (yurt) insulation sheets and containers of all sizes, while new product designs are constantly being created, reported IPS.
Below is a timeline documenting the development of the programme.
TG2G helped vulnerable and low income communities to set up their “first-hand” system for recyclable waste collection in their neighborhoods, produce recycled household goods and market them.
Not only the beneficiaries learned how to make products, they got into contractual arrangements on selected products that are going to be sold through the largest supermarket chain. A number of national food producers became raw material suppliers and expressed their interest to expand the collaboration with UNDP on follow-up interventions. Several groups managed to set up their small businesses through the project support and accessed Government loans for SMEs.