E-waste project to buy mixed batteries from scrap dealers

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The e-waste project being implemented by the Ministry of Environment, Science, Technology, and Innovation (MESTI), will extend its incentive payment system to cover the purchase of mixed batteries from scrap dealers, Project Coordinator, Mrs. Lydia Essuah has said.

The incentive payment system forms part of the Financial Cooperation Project to ensure proper recycling and disposal of electrical and electronic waste. It is against this background the project hopes by mid-April 2021, to commence the exercise at Agbogbloshie, after recovering over 50 tons of e-waste cables since its introduction in June 2020.

These cables would have been burnt to pollute the environment. The e-waste fractions, therefore, when collected will be offloaded to licensed recycling companies to handle them.

The Project Coordinator indicated that over the next six months they anticipate recovering from scrap dealers and others more than the tonnage, recorded some nine months ago.

The Recycling and Disposal of Waste of Electrical and Electronic Equipment in an Environmentally Sound Way is a €20 million project being executed by the Government of Ghana and the German Government.

At the end of the three-year project, it is expected that at least 200 tons of cables and 2,000 tons of thermoplastic casing will likely be purchased and properly recycled.

In the long term it is envisaged that the project will help reduce the environmental and health impacts of improper dismantling and disposal of electronic waste without compromising income opportunities for the affected population.

The main objective of the project is to support Ghana to set up an incentive mechanism for the sound collection, dismantling, recycling, and disposal of e-waste, to reduce the damage to the environment and to human health.

To achieve this objective, the project is offering collectors or scrap dealers, a price for four eligible e-waste types, slightly above the market value for the e-waste type. The project will subsidize the collection and cover the additional cost associated with sound recycling.

This project was modelled to align with the provisions of Act 917 and provides the Government of Ghana with the opportunity of identifying challenges and lessons learnt to improve upon the National System once it fully takes off.

Mrs. Essuah said among others that the project aims to ensure a sustainable recycling of e-waste while also providing lessons learnt to inform the national e-waste system, rolled out by the Government of Ghana.

The Project Coordinator who was speaking in an interview at the back of a stakeholder engagement in Kumasi, conceded that while phase one of the project ends in the next six months, the outbreak of COVID-19 has impacted the progress of work.

She was, therefore, hopeful that there will be some extension to the implementation of the first phase of the project.

The Fund Administrator for the Electrical and Electronic Waste Management Fund (E-waste Fund), Nana Afua Ababio, also disclosed that the E-waste Fund is working tirelessly with the Environment Ministry and other relevant agencies to operationalize the fund.

She said in line with their mandate, efforts are being made to design an incentive payment system that will ensure that scrap dealers or collectors are paid a fee for all e-waste collected.

“In the near future, therefore, you can send your electronic waste to designated collection centers and be paid for it.

This means you no longer have to go through the existing informal practice of dismantling, recycling and disposing of electronic waste which is environmentally unsafe and poses a lot of health risk to you, your families and the country at large.”

The workshop in Kumasi, with stakeholders within the e-waste value chain, was, therefore, to raise awareness on this e-waste project and its implementation status; solicit concerns and inputs to help inform policy and project implementation.

SOURCEBy Kizito CUDJOE, Kumasi
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