Ghana’s E-waste Bill drafted in 2012 and delayed for three years by periodic ministerial reshuffles, is now set to be presented to parliament, according to an official of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
The Deputy Executive Director for Field Operations at the EPA, John Pwamang said the memorandum to submit the Bill before cabinet and lay it before Parliament, was signed last week by the Minister and it is now in the final stages of seeing the light of day.
He was speaking at a workshop on e-waste on the sidelines of the West African Clean Energy & Environment Exhibition & Conference in Accra.
He said though the Bill has been on the drawing board for a long time, the reshuffles have significantly delayed the swift presentation of the Bill to parliament.
The Ministry of Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation (MESTI) has been headed by four ministers since 2012: Sherry Ayitey, Dr Joe Oteng-Adjei, Akwasi Oppong Fosu and the current Minister Mahama Ayariga.
“In such a situation it is very difficult to make any headway but I can assure that where it has reached now we are not going to wait for any new minister,” Mr Pwamang said.
Among its provisions, the E-waste Bill would require manufacturers and importers of electronics, excluding state agencies, to register with the EPA and to pay levies that would go into a fund for the collection, treatment, recovery and environmentally-sound disposal of electronic waste.
Alongside fines and other revenue mobilization, the fund would also go into construction and maintenance of e-waste treatment plants, research and public education.
The Bill proposes that the fund should be managed entirely by the public sector a seven-member board of trustees from the public sector – state Ministries, Departments and Agencies including the Controller and Accountant General’s Department, the EPA, MESTI and others.
It as yet includes no private sector representatives.
Under the Bill, MMDAs would be required to formulate appropriate bye-laws for the collection of e-waste and provide points of collection.
By Emmanuel Odonkor