On Monday, a story was published on spyghana.com highlighting plans by the government in partnership with Zoomlion to begin a pilot program building 160 recycling plants meant to serve every district in the country. It aims to involve every citizen in recycling and to push them to desist from littering. I think that this indeed is a step in the right direction and would do much to address Ghana’s bulging solid waste management problem. I do also think that announcement should be looked at objectively.
Despite the persistent trash problem in Ghana’s cities, the awareness and patronage of recycling facilities is actually on the increase. One can spot people picking plastic bottles and pure water sachets along roads and in lorry parks in order to sell them to recycling centers. This proves that the potential for us to properly conquer this problem is in sight.
It is also stated in the article that “if this initiative proved successful, government would then be convinced to introduce an environmental tax for petro-chemical industries and other industrial concerns.” If this tax could be implemented and channeled wisely then I imagine that more could be invested into the recycling/waste management sector.
It looks as if in terms of waste management, industry seems to be driving policy. This is good because it pushes government to use the practical experience of success in industry to shape what’s implemented.
With Zoomlion creating a waste management monopoly of sorts, its influence on policy may work solely in its favor and not for that of all waste management companies or all players in the waste management sector.
Also, there wasn’t a timeline given for this project or much detail about how the system would ensure that its successful. We dont know the implementation strategy or if the initial 1.05 million U.S. Dollar initial investment needed would be given on loan adding to the GHS 33.5 billion Ghanaian national debt
We also don’t know what educational/software initiatives will accompany this move. Even with basic education being free in the country currently, not everyone takes their children to school. So what’s the guarantee that this will catch on widely?
So.. we’d like to ask:
If you knew that you could sell your plastic waste for a small profit… would you separate your waste and deliver it to your district recycling plant?
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