BY NAA LAMILEY BENTIL – DAILY GRAPHIC
Solid Waste Contractors operating in the Accra and Tema Metropolitan areas are facing dire financial challenges. This has come about as a result of the unwillingness of some residents to pay new waste disposal rates approved last year by the various municipal assemblies.
In Accra, rates for first-class residential areas was increased from GH¢30 to GH¢100, while that for second class areas was raised from GH☼530 to GH¢60 and from GH¢10 to GH¢ 20 for third class communities.
In the Ga Central Municipality, the rates are GH¢ 40 for first-class areas, GH¢ 30 for second-class areas and GH¢20 for third class districts. Commercial establishments are charged GH¢70 for disposal of their waste and industrial institutions, GH¢100.
Meanwhile, in the Ga East Municipality, residents in top-notch residential areas are paying GH¢80, while those in economy class pay GH¢60 and GH¢50 by residents in third-class communities.
First-class residents in Tema Metropolis now pay GH¢60, second class GH¢40 and third class GH¢20.
According to the Executive Secretary to the Environmental Services Providers Association (ESPA), Ms. Ama Ofori Antwi, in the Ashaiman Municipality, all residents are paying a flat fee of GH¢15.
However, according to Ms. Ama Ofori-Antwi, months into its introduction, solid waste contractors are unable to break even because residents were not paying up even though waste contractors continue to render services.
She said if the phenomenon of non-payment continued, the services rendered by waste contractors in the Greater Accra Region would become adversely affected.
Consideration for increase
Among the proposals the ESPA sent to the AMA requesting an upward adjustment of its rates are fuel cost, labour, repairs and maintenance of its fleet of vehicles as contributing to high cost of services.
It also mentioned overhead cost, cost of replacing trucks and spare parts, among others, as reasons for the rate increases.
Ms. Ama Ofori Antwi explained that rates had not been increased for two years in spite of fuel price increases last year. Under the circumstances, she said the huge operational cost in providing services, including collecting and hauling refuse to landfill sites at Kpone, near Tema and Adzen Kotoku in the Ga West Municipalities, called for adjustment of the rates residents paid for their waste to be disposed of.
Per its contract with the AMA, the solid waste contractors now bear all the cost for the collection and haulage of refuse, and contractors are required to plough back their investment from residents.
“To add to our already precarious financial situation, the AMA is also asking us to pay tipping fees at the landfill sites.
“We can only appeal to residents to consider the rising cost of our operations and support initiatives in the capital by paying their rates constantly,” she said.