Efficient and effective recycling industry key to achieving circular economy – E-waste Fund CEO
Nana Efua Ababio, Chief Executive Officer, National E-waste Fund, says an effective and efficient recycling industry is crucial to the country’s quest to transform its waste management to circular economy.
She said there was the need to improve the capacity of recycling industries and create an enabling environment to deal with waste especially the e-waste sector.
Mrs Ababio, who was speaking during a working visit to Electro Recycling Ghana, a recycling facility in Accra, said majority of materials popularly referred to as waste by the public was a resource that could be turned into difference range of products.
The visit was part of activities of stakeholders in the e-waste to familiarised themselves with operations of some selected recycling plants, understand the challenges and how best to support them.
Currently, in Ghana about 97 per cent of the process of managing e-waste is done informally, releasing pollutants to contaminate soil, air and groundwater, a study has revealed.
Around 50 million tonnes of e-waste, is being thrown away each year, according to the Platform for Accelerating the Circular Economy and the UN E-Waste Coalition report published this year by the United Nations. That figure is projected to double by 2050.
Mrs Ababio said the country’s ability to formalised the e-waste sector would yield financial returns provide employment, and o protect our environment by making good use of e-waste in producing reusable items.”
She noted that her firm would collaborate with all relevant stakeholders to help build and improve the capacity of recyclers to deal with the e-waste generated.
Mrs Ababio commended Electro Recycling Ghana Foundation for their support to circular economy and urged them to be innovative and come out with products from materials that were termed as waste.
Mr Jeffrey Adongo, Innovations Manager, Electro Recycling Ghana, said in 2022, the company produced over 10,000 televisions and sold at affordable prices.
In that same year, he said they also manufactured power banks to provide energy to electrical and electronic gadgets including laptops, televisions, electric bicycles, and irrigation systems.
Ms Cornelia Stolzenberg, Head of Programme, Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) E-Waste Programme, said the Waste Control and Management Act was a good one but the challenge was a better system for implementation.
She said there was the need for a systematic approach, where the Government would enforce the laws for the implementation.
Ms Stolzenberg said the private sector must have the technical knowledge and capacities for the disposal of hazardous fractions.
She said the government must support the private sectors in terms of finances, permits and land titles, since they needed the technical support.
Ms Stolzenberg said they were working through the Environment Ministry and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for the coordination of e-waste recycling in Ghana.