Yerevan Solid Waste Management Plan

Within the framework of waste management project it is foreseen to design, build and maintain new sanitary landfill next to the existing Nubarashen landfill according to European standards.  Besides it is also planned to close the existing landfill in accordance with European standards.  Construction works include isolation of base, establishment of wastewater drainage systems and construction of respective reservoirs.  It is planned to establish permanent gas production: in the result of gas flaring to get alternative energy which can be used to meet the needs of internal consumers and it will also depend on the amount of electricity generated from gas.

The overall amount based on initial calculations is EUR 26 million. It will comprise of a loan of EUR 8 million from the European Investment Bank, 8mln euros by Reconstruction and Development European Bank (EBRD), co-financed by a EUR 8 million loan from the European Investment Bank (“EIB”) and a grant from the EU Neighborhood Investment Facility (“NIF”) in the amount of EUR 8 million to support priority investments in solid waste management, EUR 2 million grant from E5P..

This new sanitary landfill will cover an area of about 29 ha. The new landfill shall meet the state-of-art according to EU directive for landfills. The landfill site has a life-span of 30 years. This project is developed in accordance to the National Waste Strategy of Armenia.

The current condition of the landfill

Starting from 1950s the area with more than 30ha surface in Erebuni Administrative District of Yerevan is being used as lanfill (Nubarashen landfill). The area haven’t  initially been designed and built as landfill according to any adoptted standard and it does not correspond with it standards to international (or any) technical, evironmental or sanitary standards and is exclusively a place for accumulation of garbage.

At the landfill there is no isolation of base and methane gas occuring there is not being collected. There is no technical drainage system in the landfill corresponding to modern requirements, because of which the wastewaters flow out of the existing landfill without any protective barriers. The landfill does not have any infrastructure necessary for accepting the gathered garbage, in result of which the garbage disposing companies search for other options not to enter the landfill area. The removed wastes are just being dumped and mix (mainly without tamping) in the waste collection initial line. The landfill is not fenced and separated.

In result of abovementioned circumstances the following main issues arise:

  • Health and Environmental

Taking into consideration, that the existing landfill does not have any technical drainage system or any infrastructural equipment, the wastewater occuring in the landfill without processing penetrates with free flow into the undercoat of the soil, mixes with underground water causing damage to the environment and the vegetation (fertile). Afterwards the polluted underground waters mix with rivers, causing significant damage to the flora and fauna, as well as negatively impact on the health of the population.

  • Lack of gas collecting stations

Because of the lack of gas collecting stations (except of the one built in a small section by Shimidzu organization) due to permanent flares in the landfills occurs smoke, that negatively affects on the health of the citizens of the surrounding districts and on the environment.

Because of the lack of fence the existing garbage spreads to surrounding areas resulting in environmental negative consequences. At the same time because of the lack of fence and infrastructure, persons from socially vulnerable groups (scavengers), who carry out garbage sorting by hand in conditions dangerous for health for gaining any income.

There is also no equipment for washing the wheels of the vehicles, in result of which the waste disposing vehicles drive away from the landfill with dirty wheels.

  • Security

Because of lack of methane gas collecting stations occurred in the landfill the gas collects there and can provoke flares. The entrance/exit of the landfill is not controlled, so the dumping of hazardous waste in the whole territory of the landfill, as well as the contact of physical persons with that garbage is not limited, which is impermissible both in regard health and security.

  • Operational

The removed wastes are just being dumped and mix (mainly without compaction) in the waste collection initial line, where entrance/exit is not provided for the machinery, in result of which the waste disposing machinery stuck in wet and uncompacted mass of waste. Consequently, machinery lifetime, effectiveness is being essentially reduced and the maintenance cost of the vehicles significantly increases.

For implementation of minimum acceptable operation the landfill is not provided with machinery of necessary quantity and quality.


About the Project

The Project is planned to be implemented based on design, construction and operation tender and the outcomes of the feasibility study implemented by the consultant involved with grant funds by EBRD served as a basis for the preparation of the project. The clarification of the approximate indicators used in the Project will be possible in design and cost estimation documents preparation.
In the framework of the Project it is planned to design, construct and operate a new landfill with European standards (26 April, 1999 EU Directive) on an area near existing Nubarashen landfill with approximately 29 ha square, as well as to isolate the area of existing landfill (landfills) according to the same standards.
The whole territory of the new landfill is planned for 8.8 mln m3 volume of waste, which in case of annually 350 thousand ton estimated volume of waste in Yerevan will provide about 28 years of operation. Due to change of waste volumes, particularly in result of waste recycling the duration of landfill operation will increase. The whole territory of the landfill is planned to be divided into 4 sections, 2 of which factually shall be constructed in the framework of project financing: the first with 6,3 ha area, the second with 5,4 ha. The planned waste accumulation volumes shall respectively make 1,3 mln m3 and 1,9 mln m3.  The operational term for each of the mentioned sections is set about 5 years.
It is planned to isolate the territory of the new landfill to be built from the existing landfill, construct a landfill corresponding to European standards with all necessary infrastructures needed for operation, isolating the bases with waterproof layers, constructing wastewater drainage systems  and relevant reservoirs for the latter’s storage. Further on, the collected wastewater will be used for spraying the waste, the purpose of which is to ensure permanent gas production by preserving waste biological decomposition process. The gas collection from mass of waste will be implemented through gas wells which will be connected to gas collection pipes. The gas will be forwarded from gas collection pipes through condensate collector for gas burning. The use of gas as an energy producer can be an alternative for gas burning. This energy can be used to meet domestic consumption, as well as for general use depending on the quantity of electricity got from generated gases. The new landfill will be separated by fence, equipped by waste weighing scale and wheel washing system, appropriate machineries necessary for waste compacting and leveling. It is also planned to build proper entrance/exit for the landfill, administrative service building, analysis laboratory of waste, wastewater and surface water and other infrastructures.
The following measures are planned to implement for the supervision of environmental conditions around the landfill; check of underground water, control points of climate, air quality and surface water.
In the frame of the Project it is also planned to close/isolate the existing landfill /landfills/ by separating it from the new landfill. In parallel with isolation it is planned to cover the old landfill providing the accumulated gas leak and burning. Meanwhile, the final isolation works will be implemented in the old landfill sections, which have not been used for recent 20 years providing the availability of improved /green/ areas, and temporary isolation will be implemented in the rest sections, where the final isolation will be needed after suspension of settling. Except from Nubarashen landfill, it is also planned to close Ajapnyak landfill emerged spontaneously in Yerevan.

Project cost

By initial estimation, the total project cost makes 24 million EUR, out of which a loan of EUR 8 million from the European Investment Bank (“EIB”), EUR 8 million loan from the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development  and a grant from the EU Neighbourhood Investment Facility in the amount of EUR 8 million.

Loan repayment

The loan agreements stipulate that the loans should be transferred to the organization 100% owned by Yerevan Community by sub-loan agreement, which will carry out the repayment of the loan proceeds. Currently, a relevant municipal organization has been established by the decision of the council of the elders of Yerevan Community, with which sub-loan agreements shall be concluded.

The organization, selected for the implementation of the Project in the result of the tender, will assume the operation of the new landfill for 5 year period after the completion of foreseen construction works.

During that period, the municipal organization will act as a financial manager of the landfill by implementing the compensation of the operating costs and the fulfillment of loan obligations.  After the completion of 5 years operation foreseen by the Project, the municipal organization will assume future operation and maintenance of the new landfill. The revenues of the municipal organization will be formed by waste installation fees, other possible revenues in result of landfill operation, and the deficit is planned to finance from Yerevan Community’s budget or expected inflows from the implementation of waste sorting and recycling program within the framework of community-private partnership.

Waste recycling

The process of waste sorting and recycling, being observed as an important component of the waste management system, considers a branchy combination of business processes, which is conditioned by the selection of the received product types and the organization of the latter’s realization opportunities. In this context, Yerevan community considers the waste sorting and recycling as a business project and plans to organize that process in the frame of community-private partnership, which will be based on the standards of waste volume reduction, environmental adverse impact reduction and possible revenue ceiling/municipal budget/ receipt by leaving the opportunity to select technical solutions and product to be received at investor’s disposal


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Ancient Yerevan