A Recycling Plant in Every Ghanaian District?


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.




The Good News 
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.
…but let’s be cautious 
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?

About The Green Ghanaian Intiative

Akua Akyaa Nkrumah is a Ghanaian environmental technologist based in Accra, Ghana. She studied Environmental Science and Technology at the University of Maryland - College Park. She currently works as a consultant for environment and climate change in Accra and has a passion for water, sanitation, recycling and renewable energy
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7 Responses to A Recycling Plant in Every Ghanaian District?

  1. Baka says:

    Yes, I would.


  2. ammaaboagye says:

    I am so glad you raised the issue of education. I think people would likely engage the project, but I wonder iftheyd be able to fully understand the impact of what’s being done. Further, for those who wouldn’t be caught dead picking up satchets, or drinking them for that matter, what is their incentive to recycle. Essentially the fee would have to be high enough to make it worthwhile, or would have to be associated with it being the ‘classy’ thing to do. Since class is so pervasive in Ghana, I hope they can message the media campaign in such a way that its both economically sound for your own personal finances and nationally your duty for the sake of country. Very interesting stuff! I already make sure to keep my satchets and plastics until I get home to throw away. I’d be more than willing to throw them in public recycling bins if they’re near me (note: being a bit lazy about seeking out recycling plants, lol)… Great post!


    • Thanks! Yes, I agree with the need to take the educational bit seriously. Its easy for them to take that part for granted thinking that the fact that you could be paid would be motivation enough to participate. For some it will, but for many it won’t. They have to be more sophisticated in their approach. Let’s see how it goes…. maybe they’ll ask for a submission of ideas.. we have plenty!


  3. great move. Green Ghana continue the info


  4. Richard says:

    Good Job congratulation


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