In February 12, this year, the Environmental Service Providers Association (ESPA) launched a project ‘The ESPA Tricycle Scheme’ which has been designed to regularize the operations of waste collectors in the informal sector by harmonizing their activities with those of ESPA contractors.
According to the Executive Secretary to the association, Ms. Ama Ofori Antwi, the implementation of the scheme was necessitated by the widespread activities of the informal solid waste collectors which she said was now well rooted in most of the major cities in the country, particularly, Accra”.
“Their mode of operation brings them into confrontation with accredited private solid waste collectors who have contracts with metropolitan, municipal and district assemblies (MMDAs), to provide solid waste collection services”, she stated.
“While the Borla Taxi operators play an important role in complementing the work of ESPA contractors especially, those who are unable to access slum areas, they are currently unregulated, thus dumping the waste at unapproved sites. This defeats the very service they are seeking to provide by creating more problems for the assemblies and assigned contractors in their concessions” she added.
For the successful implementation of the ESPA scheme, a task force made up of a Metro Guard, two Public Health Officers and the police has been constituted by the association. The task force is expected to ensure that the operators only collect the refuse from areas assigned to them to avoid clashing with traditional solid waste contractors who already have contracts with the various assemblies.
“Without such measures, the whole idea of regularizing the operations of the informal sector waste collectors will be defeated”
The Project Manager, Mr. Raymond Ayayi explained that without such measures, the whole idea of regularizing the operations of the operators would be defeated.
Currently, the ESPA tricycles are being used to support the National Sanitation Day (NSD) to cart refuse collected from drains onto waste trucks. The trucks according to Mr Ayayi were particularly helpful during the May 2016 exercise during which tons of refuse were collected with the tricycles.
Mr. Ayayi further stated that it would distribute at least ….tricycle to each sub-metro under the Accra Metropolitan Assembly (AMA) as part of its collaboration with them to help keep Accra clean.
The Tricycle Waste Collector Concept was adopted by Zoomlion Ghana Limited in 2006 when the company started its operation in Ghana. The tricycles come with a container at the rear and can be used effectively in collecting refuse from residential areas that are not accessible to heavy duty waste management vehicles, and discharged into bigger containers.
Goals of the scheme
The ESPA Tricycle Scheme is to support National Sanitation Day in Accra as well as to improve solid waste collection in slum and difficult to access areas.