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Environment Ministry launches E-Waste incentive payment system

E Waste Incentive

The Ministry for Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation (MESTI) on Thursday launched the National Incentive Payment System for Electronic Waste (E-waste) in Accra to promote the collection and sustainable national recycling system in the country.

The Project titled: “Recycling and Disposal of Waste of Electrical and Electronic Equipment in an environmentally Sound Way Project—Phase one,” will offer scrap dealers a price for eligible E-waste types.

It will also subsidise the collection and additional costs associated with recycling.

Key stakeholders of the project include; the Ministry of Finance, Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development, Ministry of Trade and Industry, Ministry of Health and Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

Others are the Accra Metropolitan Assembly, the Ministry of Sanitation and Water Resources, Kreditanstalt für Wiederaufbau (KfW), Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) ), Greater Accra Scrap Dealers Association (GASDA) and E-Waste Round Table Association.

In a speech read on behalf of Professor Kwabena Frimpong-Boateng, Minister for MESTI, he said the existing practice of recycling and disposing of E-waste was dominated by the informal sector.

He said the government since 2016 had put in efforts to curb the growing concerns in the sector.

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He cited the passage of the Hazardous and Electronic Waste Control and Management Act (Act 917) and Legislative Instrument (LI 2250) as part of the government’s efforts to deal with the E-waste menace.

“Since then, an E-waste Fund Administrator has been appointed by the President. The collection of the advanced eco-levy is also on-going after successfully deploying sixty-five high priority product Harmonized System (HS) Codes via the new Integrated Customs Management Systems,” Mr Frimpong Boateng said.

He said the EPA was currently holding consultations to deploy and collect the advance eco-levy on the remaining 300 HS Codes into the E-waste Fund and would aid in the full operationalisation of the Integrated National E-waste Management Scheme launched in 2018.

The Minister said the operationalisation of the scheme would lead to the formalisation of the informal sector and the creation of decent and sustainable jobs along the E-waste value chain.

He said since the collection started on June 30, 2020, over 21 tonnes of waste cables were purchased and the incentive purchasing of mixed batteries was expected to commence by the end of November 2020.

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“The construction of a Handover Centre (HOC) for the collection of E-waste types will commence by the end of 2020 at the premises of the Ghana Atomic Energy Commission (GAEC). MESTI is also currently working on developing a National E-waste Policy to guide activities within the E-waste sector.”

Mr Frimpong-Boateng called on GASDA to position itself and to take advantage of business opportunities that would emerge from the project.

He asked GASDA to suggest sanctions the Ministry could apply against members who would continue to engage in unhealthy ways of gathering E-waste.

Mrs Lydia Essuah, the Director for Policy Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation, MESTI and Project Coordinator, said the project would be undertaken with a grant of 20 million Euros from the German Government through KfW.

There will be an allocation of 10 Million Euros each to both Phase 1 and Phase II.

She said the incentive system completed 711 transactions in 54 days of operations and preparations were underway for the procurement of local logistics or transport carriers to cart Electronic Waste from Agbogbloshie to the GAEC Site at Haatso in Accra.

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“Starting with four grades of cables, (high grade copper cables, low grade copper cables aluminium cables and steel cables), the project will with time, introduce three additional E-waste types namely; mixed batteries (end of November), thermoplastics and Cathode Ray Tubes (CRTS) both in early 2021,” Mrs Essuah added.

She said the EPA was set to undertake a National Audit to assess the capacity of E-waste recyclers and their role in the Project by end of November and that land had been secured at the premises of GAEC to commence the construction of HOC.

Mrs Essuah said pre-design studies for the HOC had been completed and procurement processes for hiring a contractor was also on-going.

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