Mahasarakham: Privatizing Landfill Operations

Many towns and cities in Asia use open dumps and only a small volume of solid waste ends up in properly engineered and managed landfill sites. Photo credit: ADB.
Many towns and cities in Asia use open dumps and only a small volume of solid waste ends up in properly engineered and managed landfill sites. Photo credit: ADB.

A town in northeast Thailand looks into the feasibility of a design-build-operate scheme for developing a controlled landfill site.


Like many municipalities in Asia, Mahasarakham town in the northeast region of Thailand faces the massive challenge of escalating volumes of solid waste along with deficient landfill infrastructure, technical skills, and regulation. While Mahasarakham does have formal and informal waste collection, the municipality’s landfill site runs as an uncontrolled dump posing significant threat to surface and groundwater.

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) provided technical assistance on mainstreaming solid waste management to Mahasarakham and four other cities in Asia. Key assistance was a review and upgrade of municipal 10-year plans for solid waste management plus one tailored project per city. Issues covered were waste avoidance, minimization, and recycling; waste haulage and disposal; and information, education and communication campaigns.

In Mahasarakham, after consulting stakeholders, the project team and the municipality developed and agreed on an enhanced integrated solid waste management plan. Due to strong interest from the municipality, the project team also conducted a pre-feasibility study into how the private sector could fill the technical gaps required for developing a controlled landfill site. A key element of the project was the series of meetings with private providers to gauge interest in in design, remediation, construction, and operation of a controlled landfill site through a public-private partnership.

Project information

Project snapshot

  • April 2015: Project start
  • March 2017: Project end
  • US$ 1.4 million: Total cost of technical assistance over 2 years
  • Financing
  • Others
    • Government of Thailand’s Pollution Control Department (PCD), Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment, Department of Energy, Ministry of Energy and Business, and Buriram Municipality: Stakeholders

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Meet the experts

  • Lyndsay Chapple
    Environmental engineering consultant

    Lyndsay Chapple has worked in solid waste management for more than 3 decades. His expertise covers all aspects of solid waste management, ranging from environmental assessments to detailed design of facilities. His passion is developing site-specific solutions that are pragmatic and sustainable.

    Follow Lyndsay Chapple on

  • Andrew McIntyre
    Senior Urban Development Specialist, Sustainable Development and Climate Change Department, Asian Development Bank

    Andrew McIntyre leads ADB’s Future Cities Program, operationalizing a One ADB approach to better engage with Asian cities over  the long term, by facilitating cross-sectoral knowledge and financing partners, broadening project pipelines and ensuring integrated results. Andrew's career spans 32 years, 60 projects and in 35 ADB developing member countries.

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   Thailand, Environment, Health, Urban development
   Last updated: March 2017



The views expressed in these articles are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Asian Development Bank, its management, its Board of Directors, or its members.

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