More processing plants needed to treat waste

President Akufo-Addo’s promise of making Accra the cleanest city in Africa may face some challenges because of inadequate waste processing plants in the country.

The few existing ones mainly based in the capital, Accra, do not also have the capacity to process all the huge waste generated in Accra and its environs on a daily basis.

In Accra, out of the over 2,000 tonnes of waste generated daily, the $45million Accra Compost and Recycling Plant, a subsidiary of waste management giant, Jospong Group’s Zoomlion Ghana Limited, is only able to process 600, whilst the rest are dumped at landfill sites which mostly pose health threat to residents in communities where they are located.

Others including the ones managed by Safi Sana Ghana limited in the Kpone Kantamanso area, operates on small scale as it is able to process only 30 metric tonnes of waste daily.

President Nana Akufo-Addo is expected to launch the National Sanitation Campaign today, Monday, in a bid to revolutionize the country’s sanitation sector to make his promise a reality.

Prior to this, the previous government led by John Mahama launched the National Sanitation exercise setting aside the first Saturday in every month for communal labour, but the objective of ridding the country of filth is still far from being achieved.

Speaking on the Citi Breakfast Show on Monday, Business Development Manager at the Accra Compost and Recycling Plant, Micheal Tuwor Padi, called for the installation of more waste processing plants in the country to professionally treat waste.

“Our mandate is to receive the solid wastes that are generate, and are supposed to go to the landfill sites; part comes to us as a result of our capacity. The plant we are currently running is a 600-tonne a day plant, and Accra is also generating far in excess of that. So we are only able to manage up to 600 tonnes a day. So what it means is that, going forward, we have to also expand our current facility to be able to match the volumes that are being generated daily.”

“We could have had more of such facilities across the country, and then that would have probably helped to improve the waste management system in the country,” he added.

The compost processing plant is built to sort waste, process into raw material to feed plastic and manufacturing industries as well as agriculture.

Mr. Padi explained that after processing the waste, they receive about 60%, which is turned into organic fertilizer, whilst the rest which are plastics and metal are sold to the sector industries.

“With the other recyclables like plastics with the exception of drinking bottles, we are able to semi-process them and send them to plastic manufacturing companies, locally, for manufacturing of other plastic materials for reuse locally. Metal scraps are also sent to the steel works where they are also used for other metal works. Paper is also given to the paper industry for reuse or manufacture of other material,” he added.

Septic tankers ditch lavender hill treatment plant

Also speaking on the Citi Breakfast Show, General Manager of Sewerage Systems Ghana Limited, another subsidiary of the Jospong Group, Engineer Florence Cobbod, said although they have the capacity to process daily liquid waste generated in Accra, not all of the liquid waste comes to them.

“The liquid waste treatment at the lavender hill, we are receiving almost 2,000 cubic, the maximum capacity of the plant is about 2,400 cubic a day, which is about almost 250 septic trucks. Currently, we are receiving averagely 160 to 170 trucks a day which is about 1,700 to 1,800 cubic of liquid waste. The one at Adjen Kotoko is currently receiving between 500 and 550 cubic in a day. So we can receive more at Lavender hill.”

When asked by show host, Bernard Avle, as to why only some of the trucks patronize the services of the Sewerage Systems Ghana Limited which has facilities to professionally treat liquid waste, engineer Florence said she does not know why.

“You know, currently there is another small plant at the old Lavender Hill, where they used to dump [liquid waste] into the sea without treatment, so some of the trucks go there. I know there is another plant being managed by TMA somewhere along the university farm area which is used by Jekora Ventures to also turn into fertilizer. But there are still some trucks that we don’t know where they send their waste,” she added.

By: Godwin Akweiteh Allotey/