The Executive Chairman of Jospong Group of Companies, Dr. Joseph Siaw Agyapong has affirmed the commitment of Zoomlion Company Limited, a subsidiary waste management firm, to drastically reduce the practice of landfill method of waste disposal in Ghana by ensuring that waste generated are treated, recovered, converted to organic fertilizer while plastics are recycled.
To realize this, he said, the company has envisioned establishing Waste treatment plants in all the regions of Ghana to enable the company add value to waste generated instead of just burying the raw waste which has negative environmental consequences.
“We came to meet the practice of landfill method of waste disposal ten years ago by government but now that method of waste disposal is not appropriate because it has its own environmental implications – breeds rodents, houseflies, vultures, it emits pungent stench particularly after it rains.
“The leachate from the waste itself is poisonous and hazardous to the environment and water resources. So Zoomlion has decided to change this practice by treating waste generated at our treatment plants -one in Adjeinkotoku, another one in James Town and we are building a huge one at Kumasi. Our vision is that every region will have a treatment plant,” he explained to Starr News’ Eastern Regional Correspondent Kojo Ansah during a familiarization tour by members of Pentecost Media Guild.
Dr. Siaw Agyapong added that “in Ghana, every year we import 38 million dollars of fertilizer so if we treat our waste here we can get organic fertilizer out of it. So we at Zoomlion have decided to help government establish treatment plants in all the regions to recover. It will also create jobs for at least 250 people at every treatment plant .It could serve as a research center for Universities so treating waste has more advantage than just disposing the waste at landfill.”
The intervention of Jospong Group of Companies subsidiaries – zoomlion, Lavender Hill Faecal and Mudor Waste Treatment Plant, and the ultra-modern integrated recycling and compost plant have made tremendous strides in the management of waste in Ghana since its establishment, gradually fixing the huge deficiency in waste management in the country.
Ghana, like many developing countries is facing serious problem in managing tones of both solid and liquid waste generated daily.
It is estimated that 12,710 tons of municipal solid waste are generated per day in Ghana while 26,000 cubic meters of liquid waste generated daily in the National Capital alone.
A study conducted indicates 67% of waste generated in Ghana are biodegradables with Food waste forming 79% of this fraction whereas recyclables including plastics, textiles, metals, glass, rubber and leather accounted for 22%, significant enough to sustain a major recycling initiative.
However, Ghana currently recycles just two (2) percent of the total plastic waste generated by households and businesses with many in externalities such as indiscriminate dumping, littering, landfilling and several other activities which are deleterious to the environment.
Reduction, Recycling, Re-use, energy Recovery are critical to waste management. Disposal of waste in landfills is the least desirable in solid waste management chain but that has the practice in Ghana over the years.
According to the Institute of Environment and Sanitation of the University of Ghana, Legon, Ghana losses 300 million dollars annually because waste could not be turned into resources and also because of poor sanitation delivery by the local assemblies and the delay in accessing sanitation facilities especially in the cities.
The construction and commissioning of ultra-modern integrated recycling and compost plant by Jospong Group of Companies in 2019 is, however, changing the narrative in solid waste management in the National Capital.
Currently the company has the Capacity to treat 400 tons of waste daily, recover recyclables and generate organic fertilizer from the organic waste.
The General Manager of Accra Waste Treatment Plant and Recovery Park, Betty Brown Nyadu told Starr News that “Waste from all my catchment areas-korle – Agbogbolishie, Makola and all that is being carted here and tipped at my receiving bay after which is taken through several processes that I must say is 100% green. It comes out as three outputs-you have the compost, you have the metals, you have the pet bottles, HDP, PPs and all which are all categories of plastic bottles.”
She added after this is done we sell out the compost to the general public as well as the plastic waste to private operators who also add virgin materials to it to make other plastic products such as buckets, bowls, chairs among others.”
It is estimated that each year more than 8 million tons of plastic waste enter the oceans, causing havoc to marine wildlife, fisheries and tourism, and costing at least US$8billion in damage to marine ecosystems. Data available also show that, if present trends continue, by 2050 the oceans will have more plastic than fish and an estimated 99 percent of seabirds will have ingested plastic.
The General Manager of Accra Waste Treatment and Recovery Park opined that Ghanaians needs to be educated more on waste segregation and collection to make cash from trash.
“I will encourage everybody to segregate their waste at source .The plastic materials you see littered on the streets actually has so much value than we ever thought. We export some we sell some”
Meanwhile, a 2,400 cubic-meter capacity Lavender Hill Fecal and Mudor Waste Treatment Plants since its establishment in 2016 has also been a game changer curbing indiscriminate discharge of untreated liquid waste into the sea eliminating the pungent stench which made the Lavender Hill Area pernicious to stay.
Currently the plants receive 300 tanks of sewerage for treatment. Efforts are underway to generate 7.5 megawatts of power from biogas now being flared whiles the sludge to be used to manufacture charcoal.