Solid Waste Managemen project in Ust-Kamenogorsk and Semey cities

The cities of Ust-Kamenogorsk (335 thousand people) and Semey (344 thousand people) (the “Cities”) are the two largest cities in the East-Kazakhstan Oblast, with the former being the region’s capital. Together the Cities are home to about 50 per cent of the region’s population. Proper utilization and treatment of waste is becoming very important, as each city generates around 100.000 tons of waste per year.

The feasibility studies of the Projects for modernization of solid waste management sustems in the cities of Ust-Kamenogorsk and Semey were prepared by BDC Consulting in cooperation with GWCC - INTERIVAL ZT GmbH and ABF (Austria).

The landfills in the Cities have been in operation since the 1960s with no significant modernization. Moreover, these sites are working at or near maximum capacity and approaching the end of their lifetime. Closure and remediation of the existing sites and construction of new sanitary landfills complying with the country’s Ecological Code and best international standards (including the EU Directive 1999/31/EC on the landfill of waste) must be undertaken to deal with the pressing environmental concerns.

Significant improvements to the solid waste management system are also strongly required. Currently, the generated municipal solid waste is not collected separately from households and is simply dumped at landfills. However, from January 2019, Kazakhstan’s Ecological Code will stipulate that valuable materials (recyclables) such as paper, glass, and plastics should be separately collected and recycled. Therefore, the introduction of sorting and processing facilities is the top priority for the Cities.

In light of the above, Akimat of Eastern Kazakhstan oblast,  Akimat of Ust-Kamenogorsk and Akimat of Semey have approached the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development with a request to assess the possibility of financing modernization of the SWM systems in the city of Ust-Kamenogorsk and the city of Semey to provide a loan to municipal companies for implementation of appropriate modernization projects in these cities. The consultants simultaneously and in parallel prepared separate full feasibility studies and projects that meet the criteria for bank financing and are based on an effective investment program with the lowest cost.

The investment plan has been substantiated on the basis of a thorough technical, legal, financial and economic analysis. In addition, the Consultants developed a detailed Project Implementation Plan (“PIP”), including a procurement schedule, and assessed resource use opportunities (including energy efficiency and renewable energy potential, environmental and social impact of the investment program).

The main goal of the project is to improve the maintenance, the efficiency and environmental and social orientation of the municipal solid waste system in the Cities and, in particular, to consider the specific needs for household waste disposal, the current legislation at the local and national level (for example, targets for material recovery and production of energy from waste) and assess the impacts of the Project, as well as the existing system of separation, collection and further treatment, and develop recommendations on how to improve the situation, taking into account the best international practice in the field of solid waste disposal.

Based on the above results, BDC Consulting and GWCC have drawn up a detailed Priority Investment Program (PIP), including the options for separate collection, transport modernization and closure of the existing and opening of new sanitary landfills, mechanical and biological treatment facilities and necessary infrastructure, taking into account an increased resilience to risks associated with climate change.

Also, the necessary recommendations for organizational, legal and institutional changes were developed (organization of solid waste management, legislation or institutional changes).