VICE-PRESIDENT Dr Mahamudu Bawumia has commended Zoomlion Ghana Limited for demonstrating leadership in introducing an integrated waste recycling and composting technology in Accra to boost the rapid processing of various waste materials. Dr Bawumia also commended the company for the foresight in the waste management industry and the immense investments made in the environmental sanitation sector. According to him, those were reflected in various capacity building programs and deployment of sanitary equipment and logistics.
These were contained in a statement read on behalf of the Vice-President by Alhaji Mohammed Ibrahim Awal, the Minister for Business Development, at the commissioning of a US$20 million Integrated Recycling and Compost Plant (IRECOP) set up by Zoomlion Ghana Limited. It was part of the company’s efforts to sustainably manage waste generated in the city of Accra.
The Vice-President noted that the facility had come at an opportune time considering the overburdened landfill sites in the Greater Accra Region
The Vice-President noted that the facility had come at an opportune time considering the overburdened landfill sites in the Greater Accra Region.
In an address, Dr Joseph Siaw Agyepong, the Executive Chairman of Jospong Group of Companies and President of Environmental Services Providers Association (ESPA), thanked the various government Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) and the Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies (MMDAs) for their immense support for the sanitation initiative. He recounted the significant contributions made by ESPA by complementing and supporting government’s effort at resolving environmental sanitation challenges in the country.
According to Dr Agyepong, the past few years had seen the membership of ESPA operating in over 12 clusters of waste industry sector groupings and working hard to play significant part in promoting environmental cleanliness. “It is in this regard that as ESPA, we consider our partnership with government, in environmental sanitation, as an essential social service and a major determinant for improving the health and standards of living of Ghanaians,” he added.
The Executive Chairman also emphasized that in order to realize the ambitious objectives of the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda pertaining to Goal 6, it was imperative that the country managed its environment in a way that protected its ecosystems and built resilience.
Problems with landfills
By 1991, according to Dr Agyepong, government was operating 21 waste landfills, most of them were donor funded. Some of the landfills had been full and caused nuisances to residents. Associated with the high cost of operations was the problem of low turnaround time as the trucks had to cover long distances in the midst of heavy traffic congestion to reach the landfill sites.
Another aspect of the problem was that the trucks were unable to operate effectively when it rained. In the light of the challenges, Zoomlion Ghana Limited decided to introduce composting and recycling as part of recovery of resource from waste.
About the plant
The facility, manufactured and installed by Zoomlion’s European technology partners – Komptech Austria, is an integrated waste recycling and composting plant installed at the Korle Lagoon Ecological Restoration site on the Korle-Bu Mortuary road. The plant has a high material recovery rate of up to 90 per cent of the mixed waste, a capacity to process 400 tonnes of waste a day and nearly 100 tonnes of compost per day to support agricultural and horticultural ventures.
The over 60 tonnes of compost that would be produced daily per plant would displace over 864,000 bags of chemical fertilizers imported annually into the country. This would be a major saving on the country’s foreign exchange requirement.
The plant is designed as a multipurpose facility with the capacity to process plastics into pellets and discover other materials such as paper, electronic waste among others. The plant will also serve as a research and training centre for educational institutions such as universities, Colleges of Education, first and second cycle schools as well as industries. Students will be allowed to use the facility for project work, internship and academic attachments. The facility could also be beneficial for industrial visits and tours.
The entire waste management enclave would serve as the Accra Waste Recovery Park (AWRP) to process the entire waste that would be sent to the plant.
From the municipal solid waste that would be sent to the plant, materials recovered in the form of plastics, paper, aluminum, glass and metal, among others, would be used as raw material by factories that would be set up at the Accra Waste Recovery Park to make new products. In effect waste processing and recycling would be near to 100 per cent recovery.
Nation to benefit
Later in an interview with Dr Agyepong, it became clear that Zoomlion had plans to install the waste processing facilities in all the 16 regions in the country. He also disclosed that the installations of the facilities were in line with government’s sanitation agenda, and a support to the industrialization agenda of the One-District-One Factory (1D1F) initiative that aimed at bringing development to the doorstep of ordinary Ghanaians.
It was also in response to support government’s social inclusion agenda of creating jobs for the teeming youth across the regions.
Present at the commissioning ceremony were Professor Frimpong Boateng (the Minister of Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation), Mr Ishmael Ashietey (the Greater Accra Regional Minister), Dr Sheikh Osman Nuhu Sharabutu (the Chief Imam), Mr Samuel Atta Akyea (the Minister for Works and Housing), Mr Mohammed Nii Adjei Sowah (the Chief Executive of the Accra Metropolitan). Other dignitaries included other ministers and deputy ministers of state, Members of Parliament, traditional rulers, youth groups in the Odododiodio Constituency, workers of Zoomlion/Jospong Group, a cross-section of the media and the general public.