EPA project $50 million from eco-levies

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and its partners have projected to mobilise $50 million from eco-levies on electrical and electronic devices by mid-next year to start the National Integrated E-Waste Management Programme.

Launched in 2018 to address the adverse impact of huge volumes of electronic waste in the country, the programme’s main projects included the set up of an e-waste recycling facility at Agbogbloshie in Accra.

Funding for the facility and a network of e-waste collection centres nationwide to supply it was to be generated from eco-levies payable by importers of electrical and electronic devices.

The programme is in fulfillment of section 31 of the Hazardous and Electronic Waste Control and Management Act, Act 917, passed in 2016 that spells out actions to be taken to address e-waste issues.

 But after a year of delay, Assistant Programmes Officer of EPA              Hobson Agyapong has said concerns with the payments of the levies which was responsible for the delay had been resolved to pave the way for the main projects to start.

 He was speaking in an interview with the Ghanaian Times on the sidelines of a forum held in Accra on Friday to sensitize, importers of electrical and electronic devices and other related associations on new levies. 

It was attended by representatives from Ghana Union of Traders Association (GUTA), Ghana Institute of Freight Forwarders (GIFF) and other groups in the sub-sector.

According to him, initial concerns raised by the importers were that the rates for the levies were expensive coupled with cumbersome payment process and this amongst other concerns compelled EPA to halt the collection in June this year.

After months of consultations, Mr Agyapong said the levies had been reviewed down while an already existing electronic platform was being used for automatic deduction of the levies.

 For instance, he said levies for new tyres for saloon cars had been reduced from about seven dollars to about one dollar adding that “once their concerns have been addressed we would get more funds to start the project.”

 Between November last year  when collection of the eco-levies started to June this year, when it hit a snag,  he disclosed that levies of about 32,000 dollars had been collected compared to the 100 dollar annual projection.

A programmes Officer at EPA said the programme was being implemented in collaboration with the Ministry of Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation and Societe General De Surveillance SA (SGS), a global firm.

 He said under the e-waste collection aspect of the programme, private companies had been invited to set up collection centres while there were incentives for people who brought e-waste to the centres.

He said the programme  was important because various research had revealed that there were heavy metals in the biology of persons at Agbogbloshie slum where unhealthy methods were used to harvest the e-waste same as person living in surrounding areas.


BY JONATHAN DONKOR 

Show More
Back to top button