The ongoing decongestion exercise by the Accra Metropolitan Assembly (AMA) has reduced the waste collection in the city by 30 percent.
“The Assembly is collecting less than a third of what it used to collect before the exercise began on January 8, 2018,” Mr Gilbert Ankrah, the Public Relations Officer of the AMA disclosed this to journalists in an interview.
This was after the presentation of 300 waste bins to 15 public Senior High Schools in the metropolis by the Accra Metropolitan Chief, Mr Mohammed Adjei Sowah, to kick-start a waste segregation programme for schools.
Mr Ankrah said the exercise has also reduced the cost of collection and the difficulties pedestrians go through to get to their destinations, as hawkers and traders have been cleared from the streets and walkways.
He said as part of the Assembly’s efforts to actualize the clean city agenda and to ensure the President’s vision of making Accra the cleanest a reality, the Assembly had adopted a four-pronged approach, which focuses on education, enforcement, provision of infrastructure and operational strategy.
”Since the decongestion exercise began, the volume of waste we collect in the central business district has reduced by 30 per cent. This is because previously we use three compactor trucks with a capacity of 8.2 tonnes each to lift the waste from the Tudu traffic light to Kwasia Dwasu, but now only one truck is used for the same stretch,” he said.
Mr Ankrah added: “We were using two compactor trucks for the King Tackie Tawiah statue area through 31st December to the Motor Transport and Traffic Department (MTTD), and the Railways area to the Rawlings park but now only one truck is used, on the same stretch ... This means that waste generated on that stretch has also reduced by half."
He said the volumes collected around the Adjaben area from Farisco to NIB, has also reduced by five tonnes compared to the initial volume of ten tonnes on the same stretch, adding that, traders who sell along the pavements contribute largely to the waste generated in the city.
"The intense trading activities on the city streets leads to congestion and consequently waste generation that create filth ... If we have over three thousand people selling on the streets illegally, with each of them generating about 0.74kg of waste, you can imagine the quantity of waste to be generated daily," he stressed.
Mr Ankrah said the AMA has outsourced waste management and waste collection to private companies and urged all residents to look out for these companies and register with them.
"Jekora Ventures and Asadu Royal Waste Company Limited have been assigned to Osu Klottey and Ablekuma North, respectively whiles Liberty Waste is responsible for the waste in Dansoman.
“The Okaikoi South area, Ayawaso West, and the Abossey Okai enclave have all been assigned to J Stanley Owusu and Zoom Domestic Services Limited," he said, adding that, Alliance Waste is expected to collect waste around the Nima and Abeka areas.
He announced that the assembly would soon roll out a programme to streamline and regulate the activities of motorised tricycles in the collection of waste in the city.
"We want them to be law-abiding citizens and stop dumping waste at unauthorised areas in the capital. Because they are unable to transport the waste to longer distances they dump anywhere. We are currently introducing waste collections points and waste mobile transfer stations for easy dumping of waste in the city," he said.
Mr Ankrah called on all traders and the public to support the efforts of the Assembly to rid the city of filth and to ensure that the President's dream of making Accra the cleanest becomes a reality.