Harry Sarfo Diko’s thoughts … The fight against filth: waste disposal chain (2)


Saint Jerome, also known as Jerome of Stridon said something and I quote: “Good, better, best. Never let it rest. Till your good is better and your better is best.” In view of this ubiquitous quote, the waste disposal chain should never end at the temporary waste storage units.

The temporary waste storage units can help solve the problem within a week or at most a fortnight. There is therefore an importunate need to empty every waste material from the waste bins/bags into garbage trucks.

The garbage trucks will then haul the waste materials to appropriate destinations until the waste disposal chain successfully ends. Below are the details of the other systematic elements in the waste disposal chain:

  • Waste Collectors

They are individuals or institutions either self – employed or employed by a public or private enterprise to collect solid waste (refuse) and recyclables from residential, commercial, industrial or other collection sites for further processing and waste disposal.

In Ghana, waste collectors will use various vehicles, ranging from two-wheelers, tricycles and four-wheeled trucks to specialized waste collection trucks, so as to effectively empty waste materials from waste bins/bags.

Two-wheel trucks – with a basket placed on it to contain the rubbish collected – are mostly pushed/pulled by individual waste collectors to various collection sites. Moreover, there are tricycles that are usually propelled by the action of a rider’s feet upon pedals whiles other tricycles, with buckets of various sizes, are motor powered.

Also, some four-wheeled trucks have wooden or metallic buckets, of different sizes, and they are either being pulled/pushed or motor powered. Specialized waste collection trucks such as front loaders, rear loaders and so forth are designed to automatically or manually empty large volumes of solid waste materials from larger containers.

Ironically, the activities of two-wheeled trucks, tricycles and to some extent four-wheeled trucks – that collect small volumes of rubbish – cause greater filth. How can we eradicate filth in this country if these scoundrels continue to operate in that manner?

In fact, most of those waste collectors, especially those operated by individuals, dump collected rubbish into gutters, bushes, open areas and etcetera due to the fact that they’re sheer wicked, insane or probably find it very inconvenient to send collected waste materials to appropriate disposal sites.

Furthermore, most waste collectors – including companies that use specialized vehicles – do not collect the rubbish of their subscribers on agreed time periods. This might be as a result of the fact that waste collection vehicles get broken down or disposal sites easily reach maximum points. Unequivocally, this situation hinders the effectiveness of the waste disposal chain.

Henceforth, the operations of waste collectors should be monitored and regulated such that they collect every rubbish or recyclables, without none touching the ground, at the appropriate time periods and carry the wastes collected to designated destinations: waste transfer sites, recycling sites, incinerators or landfill sites.

  • Waste Transfer Sites

Waste transfer sites serve the purpose as places where waste collection vehicles – usually serving the needs of a particular limited area – will deposit their waste materials prior to loading into larger vehicles. These larger vehicles will transport the waste to the end point of disposal: recycling facility, incinerator or landfill.

Obviously, all public waste disposal sites serve as transfer sites. Individuals, especially from households, mostly send their waste products directly (without giving to waste collectors) to public disposal sites. Also, individual or institutional waste collectors – with small volumes of waste – send waste materials to those sites.

The workers at transfer sites then sort out the rubbish to remove recyclables (to be put into separate containers for recycling) and also arrange non recyclables into sacks. The sacks are then put into large containers to be carried by some specialized waste collection trucks to designated places.

Sadly, enough, the public disposal sites – as transfer sites – often defeat the purpose of the waste disposal chain. People perceive there as final disposal sites and due to that they dump rubbish anyhow. The workers also become reluctant to sort out and arrange the rubbish for their intended destinations. Hench, there are a lot of filth and the stench that emanates from those sites are quite unbearable.

Again, the wind sometimes blows some of the rubbish back onto the streets, gutters, and so forth. This situation renders all the efforts put in place, from the beginning of the waste disposal chain till this point, “Cos 90”.

There are other specialized places designated as transfer sites where proper sorting out and treatment of waste occur. Waste treatment techniques act to reduce the volume and toxicity of solid wastes so as to transform them into a more convenient form for disposal.

In fact, waste treatment and disposal methods are selected and used based on the form, composition, and quantity of the waste materials. The final part of “Waste Disposal Chain” will throw more light on waste treatment and disposal methods.

Undoubtedly, if every waste collector (whether individual or institution) and managers of waste transfer sites (whether mini or specialized) operate their respective activities effectively, no solid waste material will get the chance to drop on the ground, let alone cause filth.

To conclude this episode, it is worthy to reiterate that putting pragmatic measures to prevent occurrence and reoccurrence of filth is million times reasonable than organizing occasional “clean up exercises”.

The waste disposal chain has proven to be the best and effective measure to eradicate filth without reoccurrence so the country ignores it at its own peril.



The writer is popularly known as Jamigy Harry, is the sole proprietor of Idealoyal Enterprise – a registered business (with GhaClean as one of its objects of business). He holds a Bachelor of Commerce (Accounting & Finance) Degree from the University of Cape. He’s much enthusiastic about Entrepreneurship and solving societal problems.

Email: [email protected]

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/harry-sarfo-diko-1a392317b

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