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EPA, others to set up e-waste recycling facility

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is working with stakeholders in the e-waste sector to establish an e-waste recycling facility in the country.

Consultants are currently engaged in feasibility studies on establishing e-waste collection centres and treatment facilities for the project to take off by the end of the year.

The project 

Known as the HANISA E-Waste Model, it is a European Union (EU) funded initiative under Switch Africa Green (SAG), with technical support from the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP).

It is also to create an e-waste collection network comprising consumers, as well as informal e-waste collectors, and prospect for markets, both locally and abroad, for the sale of retrieved e-waste components.

The EPA and its implementation partners, including the University of Cape Coast (UCC), are benefiting from a $250,000 grant for the project.

The main aim is to support developing countries in Africa to achieve sustainable development by engaging in transition towards an inclusive green economy based on sustainable consumption and production (SCP) patterns, while generating growth, creating decent jobs and reducing poverty.

At a workshop on the HANISA E-waste Model in Accra yesterday, a Chemical Engineer at the EPA, Mrs Leticia Nyaaba, said while Ghana was the leading collector of e-waste in the world, with almost 95 per cent of annual generation collected, there was a problem with how the waste was handled.

She observed that the project would mark a switch from unsustainable, informal e-waste management to a more formal and sustainable e-waste management in the country.

The workshop, attended by stakeholders in the e-waste sector, was meant to discuss the project and get the buy-in of the participants to make it viable and sustainable.

Job opportunities 

Apart from a much safer e-waste environment, the EPA estimates that through the project about 16 green/recycling businesses could be created, creating 320 jobs for the youth in e-waste management.

The growing population and changing lifestyles in particular increase the amount of e-waste, as well as its import.

Agbogbloshie, the central point for the crude dismantling of e-waste in Accra, is one of the most toxic places on earth, according to the World Health Organisation (WHO).

The entire area is an affront to the nose, as the air is thick with the smell of burning plastic and dirty sewage gases drifting in from the heavily polluted Odaw River.

But to make the business safer and more lucrative, the UCC is developing business models to create jobs for entrepreneurs in Accra, Tema and Kumasi.

While calling for the enforcement of the complete ban on the importation of e-waste, an environmental expert, Mr Samson Atiemo, said special provisions must be made for companies which could prove that they were capable of managing it in an environmentally sound manner.

Participants were of the view that the informal sector, dominated by scrap scavengers, should be developed, since it created livelihoods for hundreds of people.

Source: Graphic Online

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