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Importation of E- waste dangerous to the environment- EPA

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Accra, June 24, GNA- The importation of obsolete electrical and electronic

equipment (E-waste) from the industrialised countries has worsened E-waste

control and management in Ghana and most African countries.

The growing E-waste volumes and the absence of a well organised collection

and management systems have also impacted negatively on the environment,

local communities and the economic systems of Africa.

Mr. Daniel Amlalo, Deputy Director of the Environmental Protection Agency,

made this known on Wednesday at a workshop on E-waste in Accra, which

attracted participant from Nigeria, Benin, Togo, Cote d' Ivoire, South Africa and

“Organisations responsible for the E-waste collection and recycling in

industrialized countries cannot meet their recycling targets of E-waste… because

of the export of second hand equipment and E-waste,” he said.

Though certain portions of these equipment are refurbished, he said many

devices and components proved unsuitable for reuse.

Mr. Amlalo noted that the situation compounds the local E-waste generation

problem leading to the accumulation of large volumes of hazardous waste.

“E-waste is routinely disposed of on uncontrolled dump sites where waste

volumes are periodically reduced by setting them on fire. This has resulted in a

whole range of toxic substances released, which heavily contaminate the soil and

water resources.”
He said the electric and electronic equipment also contained a range of metals

such as copper, palladium, gold, indium and germanium.

Mr. Amlalo said E-waste management does not only pollute natural resources

and endanger people's health, but also affected the substantial business

opportunities in material recovery and recycling.
Mr. Amlalo said although the high-tech know-how for environmentally sound

recovery of metals was not yet in sight in Africa, international business

corporations could link strategic advantages of recycling industries in Africa and

industrialised economies.
He said though advanced countries could refine scarce metals from E-waste

they were yet to reach the level where smelters could sort E-wastes.

“African recyclers could add value to their domestic E-waste by manually

disassembling and sorting E-waste,” he noted.
“Since well sorted E-waste yields the highest recycling rates in high-tech

refining processes, African E-waste products could become an attractive source

of valuable metals,” he said.
He said the EPA was currently working with the mobile phone operators on

an initiative to manage end-of –life mobile phones and their batteries.


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