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Formalise scrap business to make it relevant – Report

A research report on the assessment of Ghana’s electronic waste (e-waste) has suggested the formalisation of the operations of informal scrap dealers to aid in taxation purposes, monitoring and enforcement of legislative instruments.

According to the report, upgrading infrastructure and allocating land to develop designated e-waste processing zones would streamline monitoring and enforcement, adding that centralising e-waste businesses to designated localities would simplify and streamline monitoring and enforcement.

The report was initiated by Adelphi, a German-based research advocacy, E-MAGIN Consortium, Ghana National Cleaner Production Centre, City Waste Recycling with financial support from the European Union (EU).

The report dubbed; “Money dey for borla”, sought to understudy the value of e-waste management in the country.

Mr Ebenezer Kumi, a national focal point at Adelphi Ghana, said the research which was launched in May this year, was conducted from eight regions across the country.

He made this known while presenting findings and recommendations from the report at the e-waste stakeholder forum 2019 of the 7th West African Clean Energy and Environment (WACEE) in Accra yesterday.

The event gathered participants from various fields, including producers and recyclers from the formal and informal sector.

Mr Kumi explained that the first step in formalising the operations of informal scrap dealers could begin by local authorities facilitating the acquisition of land for scrap dealers to set up spacious and improved facilities for businesses.

According to him, it was observed during the studies that more than 90 per cent of the country’s informal scrap dealers were currently living in makeshift and unauthorised sheds which lacked space to safely dismantle and store e-waste upon processing.

Additionally, the report urged the Ministry of Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation (MESTI) and other sectors to offer incentive schemes and provide monetary support to scrap dealers in order to avoid cherry picking of valuable fractions to promote expansion of collection infrastructure.

It recommended the formation of scrap dealers associations and streamlining of registration procedures to accelerate formalisation and strengthening their bargaining power, adding that “waste management departments in metropolitan, municipal and district assemblies could form e-waste teams made up of national service personnel who could be deployed to various locations with simple forms to register and collect informal waste collectors’ data.”

The report further proposed the creation of awareness to strengthen the monitoring and enforcement of legal ambit of Act 917 and LI 2250 on actors in the e-waste value chain.

The Sector Minister, Professor Kwabena Frimpong-Boateng, in his remarks said the circular economy was critical to the development of the country and reiterated government’s commitment to support the e-waste management of the sector.

Prof. Frimpong-Boateng called on stakeholders in the sector to collaborate in order to tackle issues in the sector to maintain a clean environment.

Ambassador Diana Acconcia, Head of European Union Delegation to Ghana, said to sustain the e-waste sector there was the need to train actors in the value chain, and announced that the union would soon enter a financial framework with Ghana from 2021 to support issues on environment and climate change.

BY ALLIA NOSHIE

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