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30 Tonnes of E-waste retrieved for recycling

BY: Doreen Andoh
Mr Andreas Ahrenbog (right) addressing the editors during the media engagement. With him are Mrs Lydia Essuah (2nd-right), Director for Policy Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation at the MESTI and E-waste Project Co-ordinator; Mrs Asare Bediako (2nd left), Chief Director, and Mrs Cecelia Nyadia, Director, Human Resource, both of MESTI

Ministry of Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation CC) has retrieved 30 tonnes of cables (E-waste) for recycling under C project it is piloting, in collaboration with the German government.

The three-year project, which ends in 2021, is dubbed: “Recycling and disposal of waste of electrical and electronic equipment in an environmentally sound way”.

In all, the project is expected to retrieve 200 tonnes of cables and 2,000 tonnes of thermoplastic casing for proper recycling in 2021.

An  average of 0.36 tonnes of cables has been bought at GH¢14,117.97 every day since the start of an incentive package for e-waste pickers and dealers in June 2020.

The Ghanaian-German financial cooperation is supporting the Ghanaian partners to set up the incentive package, as well as the construction and operation of a ‘Handover-Centre’ (HOC) to serve as a logistic base for the reception and storage of purchased e-waste for recycling under the project.

Event

At a stakeholder engagement in Accra yesterday, the Director of Policy Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation at the MESTI, who is also the C Project Coordinator, Mrs Lydia Essuah, said as part of the project, e-waste collectors were being given an incentive in the form of cash higher than the market price.

She said the workshop was to equip editors of media organisations with the requisite knowledge on e-waste management to ensure accurate and consistent public education on its management and handling.

She said the incentive would also encourage pickers of waste materials to send them to designated collection points for reward rather than carrying them to Agbogbloshie and other burning sites in Accra where their activities pollute the environment and affect human and animal health.

She said 88 days after implementing the incentive package, 979 people had transacted business with the project implementers, out of which 250 are scrap dealers.

The € 20-million, two-phase project, which is currently being piloted in Accra, will be replicated nationwide.

Mrs Essuah said the project had become necessary because of rapid urbanisation, increased incomes and changing consumer habits, coupled with the illegal importation of electrical and electronics, leading to an increase in the amount of e-waste in the country.

Significance

She explained that the project was basically intended to ensure that e-waste was managed in an environmentally sound manner and not to deprive dealers of their source of income.

She said actors in the private sector would have the opportunity to acquire licences from MESTI and its agencies to enable them to set up collection centres and recycling facilities to ensure that such activities were carried out in line with the legal framework of safeguarding public health.

The Chief Director of the MESTI, Mrs Cynthia Asare Bediako, added that the project would reduce damage to the environment and human health caused by unsound recycling of e-waste.

The Project Team Leader, Mr Andreas Ahrenbog, also said effective e-waste management was a shared responsibility, and that it was for that reason that they were engaging stakeholders along the value chain to get their buy in.

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