On Friday, December 10, 2021, MICOA held a meeting on the environmentally friendly disposal of technology and equipment waste. Telecom operators discussed effective waste management and opportunities for collaboration.
D. Sodbuyan, Chairman and N. Amgalan-Erdene, Executive Director of Ungu Nem, an NGO, attended the discussion and talked about a wide range of issues, such as the current state of waste management in Mongolia, government policies, and waste recycling industry trends. The discussions also included the types of waste from the telecom industry and their disposal.
Participants also discussed their current environmental initiatives. This includes Mobicom Corporation's use of recycled plastic for its cable marking poles and Unitel Data Centers' collaboration with Ungu Nem on a waste sorting project.
Telecommunications companies dispose of their equipment approximately every 10 to 20 years. However, the waste includes batteries, which are considered hazardous. Although telecom operators contract specialized companies to recycle or dispose of batteries, it is unclear whether they have the proper permits and tools.
In addition to technical waste, company warehouses can quickly fill up with discarded office furniture and computers. Ts. Odkhuu, Director of the Strategic Planning Department of the Information and Communication Network Company, proposed an idea to centrally collect waste from various companies at the aimag and soum branches of the Information and Communications Network Company.
Participants agreed to collaborate with Ungu nem to survey the types of waste generated in the telecommunications sector, its classification and size, and develop action items. The survey results will also be presented to the MICOA Board of Directors. Furthermore, the survey can be approved and used as part of the standard waste disposal form by the National Statistical Office. This change will be a critical first step to improving the classification of telecom industry waste and including it in consolidated waste data.