Accra, November 6: Last weekend the entire nation of Ghana embarked on a clean-up exercise that is expected to reduce the amount of pollution in the country’s streets and homes.
This idea is to be completed on the first day of every month. Lamudi sheds light on some other forms of waste management that can help the country cope with the increasing waste in our society.
The commonest form of waste management in Ghana landfilling involves the dumping of refuse waste on a piece of land, which is left to decompose. It is a very economical approach to waste management, with the Kpone Landfill Site in Accra having a capacity of 2500 tonnes of waste a day. A new site has been commissioned in Nsawam to complement that of Kpone’s, with a capacity of 1000 tonnes of garbage waste a day. Modern technology has enabled these landfilling sites to not only play the role of decomposition, but also generating electricity through the release of gases emitted by the waste. Such power could be used for a select few of government schools in order to reduce the pressure on the national grid. Landfills however have its characteristic problems, with land consumption and pollution just some of the problems associated with it.
A great way to manage waste, incineration involves the processing of garbage waste into heat, ash, steam and gas that can be useful for homes. A very significant point is the fact that incineration reduces the amount of solid waste by up to 85%, thus reducing the amount of volume for landfills. This would cut down the need for more landfills, which would be very relevant to Ghana in the face of an increasingly smaller square radius of land.
This method of waste management is arguably the most effective solution to waste management. Recycling involves the processing of waste material such as plastics, food and paper into products beneficial for society. With this method, it ensures that waste is cut down and rather regenerated to other forms that inure to the benefit of society. In Ghana, the Accra Compost And Recycling Plant Ltd (ACARP) is one company that is leading the way to efficient waste management. Sachet water packs are some of the materials that cause a nuisance in the country and it would be more prudent if the nation could have institutions that could recycle these plastic materials into useful products such as fashion. In some countries, manufacturers are mandated by law to include recycling in their operations and it is the hope that Ghana will someday follow suit.
The onus is also on us as responsible citizens to ensure that Ghana copes well with its sanitation. One of the most pragmatic ways individuals and homes can contribute to waste management is through the reuse of materials. Thankfully, many Ghanaians homes often reuse materials such as glass bottles, polythene bags, etc.
With this in mind, the monthly clean-up exercise comes at a good time for the nation. As part of the exercise, we should ensure that waste is brought to its barest minimum in order to avoid such clean-ups in the first place. Government will also be expected to enact more legislation in this direction, especially laws governing the management of waste at homes.