Regional News of 2014-08-30

EPA to segregate solid waste

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), would on Monday September 1, distribute more than 700 waste bins to 60 state institutions to enable them to segregate their solid waste from others.

The programme falls under EPA’s source segregation of solid waste project, being undertaking in conjunction with Jekora Ventures, and Zoomlion, private waste management companies, in partnership with Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation.

Waste segregation is the process by which waste is separated, sorted and grouped according to types.

Mr Godson Cudjoe Voado, Principal Programme Officer, EPA said some common problems associated with solid waste management in Ghana are inadequate service coverage, irregular waste collection, waste spill over from bins and storage containers, and the attitude of the people towards indiscriminate disposal of waste at unauthorised places.

These problems or actions would eventually lead to public health impact, aesthetic nuisance, and environmental pollution, he said.

He explained that the segregation would therefore help increase the volumes of waste diverted through reuse and recycling, increased recovery of materials and obtain energy from waste; reduce total volumes of waste disposed to landfill, create wealth and minimize the incidence of public health issues and environmental pollution.

He said the rationale for segregation at the source of solid waste before collection is to help improve efficiency and effectiveness of service delivery and minimise the amount of waste being land-filled and also gain value from secondary raw materials.

The wastes are supposed to be segregated based on colour coded “recycle bins” with assigned colours of green, blue and brown.

Green bins are to collect organic waste, blue bins for plastic waste while brown coded bins for paper waste.

He said more than 500 bins have been distributed to the ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs) under the first phase to be used to collect waste on the main premises of their offices while the second tranche of 30 liter bins would be sited within the corridors of each block of offices.

Mr Voado said the project would be gradually extended to schools and gated communities and later extended to the regions and district.

“This programme if extended will eventually reduce the quantity of solid waste that ends up in the available but limited landfill sites thereby increasing the lifespan of the landfills. This will also lead in improved quality of life and contribute largely to the reduction in the incidence of severity of communicable and other diseases in our towns and cities.”

Ms Cindy Badoe, Deputy Director and Head of Built Environment, EPA asked workers at the Ministries to lead the way in waste segregation, which would attract reward systems as a way of motivating people to separate waste.

She urged people to stop buying hot food in plastic bag since they emit toxins due to their light weight.

Ms Akua Akyea Nkrumah, Innovation Manager of JekoraVentures said her company, which is a sole collector of waste in the Ministries Area is ready to collect the segregated waste promptly.

Mr Immanuel Nartey Tokoli, Operations Manager, Jekora Ventures urged the MDAs to pay their waste collection fees on time for prompt collection, saying, most of the ministries are owing.