Waste Management Expert Zoomlion Ghana Limited on Friday opened another milestone in its operations as the company unveiled the Integrated Recycling And Compost Plant (IRECOP) at Korle Bu in Accra.
This marks a whole new approach in dealing with the tons of waste generated in Accra.
This is one of the major private sector-led interventions to the waste disposal challenge is the introduction of recycling and compost plants across the country.
The plants have the ability to recover waste materials that would have been landfilled and turned into raw materials for industry. This saves the environment from pollution and space needed to site new landfills.
The Integrated Recycling and Compost Plant (IRECOP) has an 80% waste recovery rate and has the capacity to handle 800 tons of solid waste on a sixteen (16) hour shift. T
he Plant is designed to additionally process about 200 tons of compost per day.
Socio-Economic Benefit and Job Creation
The plants will also draw commercial activities to the areas where they are sited (Food and Entertainment joints; transportation businesses and other related activities).
Thus, the recycling and compost project would improve the socio-cultural activities around the plants; while enhancing the green and climate resilience of the catchment areas they serve.
The over 60 tons of compost that would be produced daily per plant would displace over 864,000 bags of chemical fertilizers imported annually into Ghana.
This would be a major saving on the country’s foreign exchange requirement. It is anticipated that about 216,000 bags of compost would be produced annually per plant with an additional 600,000 seedlings raised for distribution to commercial farms, Mines reclamation and Governmental planting for Food and Jobs programme.
These are real potentials to increasing indirect job creations within the radius of operation. Each Plant will provide direct and indirect employment of over 1000 people in the Region.
Environment And Health Benefits
The facility is meant to address indiscriminate dumping of solid waste resulting in widespread pollution and its attendant effects on human health across the country. Thus, the Plants will contribute to the improvement of sanitation leading to the optimal health of residents in MMDAs.
Raw Materials For The Industry
The Plant will recover waste materials such as plastics, metal, organic, paper, and glass that could be useful as raw materials for industries.
Research And Training
The plant will also serve as research and training centre for educational institutions such as Universities / Polytechnics, Colleges of education, First and Second Cycle Schools as well as industries in the Regions. Students will be allowed to use the facility for project work, internship and academic attachments. The facility could also be beneficial for industrial visits / tours
Fulfill the Government’s Agenda of “One District One Factory (1D1F)
These Plants are also in fulfilment Government’s agenda of the “One District One Factory (1D1F)”
Other Benefits of the Integrated Recycling and Compost Plant
• The IRECOP will provide job opportunities for hundreds of tricycle operators in the informal sector.
• It fits into the Government’s Policy of making Accra the Cleanest City in Africa.
• It will convert the unsightly Agbogbloshie Area into an Eco Enclave (linking all activities inherent in the management and recycling of waste streams in the enclave).
• The facilities will reduce the turnaround time for operators and improve efficiency of waste collection in the Central Business Districts.
• Operation of the IRECOP will reduce pressure on available landfills, which are expensive to construct and manage.
• The resultant cleanliness will boost tourism potential of our cities.
• It will serve as research and training centre in environmental management for the academia, CSIR, EPA, the District Assemblies’ Health Inspectorate Staff, among other institutions
In Ghana, about 5 million tons of municipal solid waste is generated annually out of which about 60% is organic. The non-recyclable components of the waste generated in Ghana is about 20%, which means that 80% can be recovered and recycled. Furthermore, about 25% of the organic waste received at the material recovery and compost facility remains as compost.
Globally 2.1 billion tons of municipal solid waste is generated, out of which 33% (693 million tons) is not managed well (World Bank, 2018).
Therefore, out of the 5 million tons of waste generated in Ghana, 750,000 tons out the total of 5 million tons of organics can be converted into compost annually across the country (AfES Consult, 2018). If more of this type of facilities are located across the country as part of the IDIF initiative, it will drastically reduce the high volumes of fertilizer imports into the country.
It is reported that in 2015 alone, 430,610 tons of Chemical fertilizers were imported into the country.
Waste disposal in Ghana is gradually shifting from Dump Sites and Engineered Landfills to the value additions through the use of sustainable (Socio-Economic) and environmentally friendly technologies. Critical to this shift are the Environmental (Pollution) and Social (Employment/Job creation and Cultural enhancement) burden.
Thus, in the past few years, the private sector has demonstrated its commitment or interest in Recycling of Waste (Composting, Recycling) and recovery of Energy from Waste (Biogas or Landfill gas utilization) in partnership with Government.