70% of Accra’s waste is collected, 30% uncollected – Zoomlion reveals

The Communications Manager of Zoomlion Ghana Limited, Ernest Morgan Acquah, disclosed that 70% of waste in Accra is collected, leaving 30% uncollected. He elaborated that major waste management companies, including Zoomlion, are accountable for collecting 80% of the waste, while local tricycle operators, known as “Aboboyaa,” handle the remaining 20%.

Accra has long struggled with persistent flooding issues, exacerbated by obstructed gutters filled with waste. Ernest Morgan Acquah lamented the absence of a final disposal site in Accra, necessitating a round trip of approximately 100 kilometers to dispose of the waste at a landfill site in the Eastern region – Adepa, before returning for the next collection.

“Yes 70% of waste is collected in Accra, 30% not collected. The big companies including us collect 80%, with Aboboyaa collecting 20%. We either treat or dispose of the waste when collected. One big challenge we have in Accra, as we speak, there’s no final disposal site in Accra, so when we pick up the waste from Accra, we do a round trip of about 100 kilometres to go and dump it in a landfill site in the Eastern region – Adepa. Before we come back and collect the next set.”

Despite consistent clean-up efforts in collaboration with various Assemblies in the Greater Accra Region, Zoomlion’s Communications Manager acknowledged the substantial amount of waste still present on the ground. Acquah revealed that around 80% of the collected waste is disposed of, with only 20% being recycled.

“What we’re finding on the ground is quite a lot, though we have been doing regular clean-ups with the Assemblies. In just the first quarter, we’re aiming for around 250 tons per assembly, we’re exceeding it for every Assembly. People are just throwing in the gutters and all of that.”

“Currently, in Accra, about 80% of the waste we pick, we dispose, only 20% goes into the recycling plant,” he noted.

He highlighted the resolution of the waste disposal challenge through the establishment of recycling plants in all 16 regions.

“Zoomlion has introduced the recycling plant across the country. Now we have a recycling plant in all the 16 regions,” he stated.

However, he criticized some “Aboboyaa” operators for improperly disposing of waste collected from smaller communities, noting instances of waste being dumped in unauthorized locations such as the Motorway, often under the cover of darkness.

“There’s a breach with the collection. We have an influx of Aboboyaa now, so we will consider them as picking the waste. But most of them don’t dispose it rightly. We have transfer stations that some take the waste to us, others don’t.

“The problem is that some of them when they pick it from the households, we’re counting them as waste as part of the 70%. But they will go dispose it off at different places – Motorway, sometimes at night. When you ply the Tema Motorway, you will see heaps of waste.”

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