Effective recycling industry vital to achieving circular economy – E-waste Fund

Nana Efua Ababio, the Chief Executive Officer of the National E-waste Fund, emphasized the importance of an effective and efficient recycling industry in Ghana’s transition towards a circular economy. Mrs. Ababio stated that there is a need to improve the capacity of recycling industries and create an enabling environment to deal with waste, particularly in the e-waste sector.

During a working visit to Electro Recycling Ghana, a recycling facility in Accra, she noted that the majority of materials commonly referred to as waste could be transformed into a range of different products.

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The visit was part of a series of activities undertaken by stakeholders in the e-waste sector to familiarize themselves with the operations of selected recycling plants, understand the challenges faced, and determine the best ways to support them. Currently, in Ghana, about 97% of the process of managing e-waste is done informally, releasing pollutants that contaminate soil, air, and groundwater.

A study has revealed that around 50 million tonnes of e-waste are being thrown away annually, and this figure is projected to double by 2050, according to the Platform for Accelerating the Circular Economy and the UN E-Waste Coalition report.

Mrs. Ababio emphasized that formalizing the e-waste sector would yield financial returns, provide employment, and protect the environment by making good use of e-waste to produce reusable items.

She stated that her organization would collaborate with all relevant stakeholders to build and enhance the capacity of recyclers to handle the generated e-waste. Mrs. Ababio commended Electro Recycling Ghana Foundation for its support of the circular economy and urged it to be innovative and create products from materials that are deemed waste.

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Mr. Jeffrey Adongo, the Innovations Manager at Electro Recycling Ghana, reported that the company produced over 10,000 televisions at affordable prices in 2022. He also stated that they manufactured power banks to provide energy to electrical and electronic gadgets, including laptops, televisions, electric bicycles, and irrigation systems.

Ms. Cornelia Stolzenberg, the Head of Programme at Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) E-Waste Programme, praised the Waste Control and Management Act and suggested that the challenge was to develop a better system for implementation.

Ms. Stolzenberg recommended a systematic approach in which the government would enforce the laws for implementation, the private sector would have technical knowledge and capacities for the disposal of hazardous fractions, and the government would support the private sector in terms of finances, permits, and land titles, as they require technical support.

Ms. Stolzenberg stated that they were working with the Environment Ministry and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to coordinate e-waste recycling in Ghana.


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