An initiative that seeks to adapt concepts locally and internationally to ensure safe treatment of hazardous waste fractions of e-waste and the development of a sustainable recycling industry for the sector has been outdoored in Accra.
The project called the Sustainable Recycling Industries (SRI) II would build upon key outcomes and lessons learnt from an earlier project and response to the remaining challenges in the area of policy and legislation, normative requirements, technology, and business development.
The Sustainable Recycling Industries II project was jointly launched by Mr Phillipp Stalder, the Ambassador of Switzerland and Mr John Pwamang, the Executive Director of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) at a ceremony in Accra.
Mr Pwamang said the SRI phase two would optimise sustainable value chains and skilled businesses and advance the professionalisation of the recycling industry.
He noted that the SRI phase would raise awareness amongst producers and importers of e-equipment to actively engage for sound e-waste management and to form a Producer Responsibility Organisation.
It would further train and support the conformity assessment body to effectively monitor and guide the e-waste industry to more sustainable practices and support of regional scrap dealers associations in organizational end technical terms.
The project would offer technical support and south-south exchange on the management of hazardous waste fractions and develop Standard Operating Procedures for sound management of waste lead-acid batteries
He recalled that the first phase of the SRI programme, which was implemented between 2014 and 2018, enabled the country to obtain and develop appropriate instruments and guidance for environmentally and socially responsible e-waste management systems.
Mr Pwamang stated that SRI contributed to the adoption of mandatory technical guidelines and the introduction of a conformity assessment and monitoring system.
He said the first project phase was implemented in a period, and developed important regulatory frameworks for improved e-waste management.
“Amongst others, the Ghanaian Parliament passed the Hazardous and Electronic Waste Control and Management Act 917, which lays out the principles for future sector reforms.
“The SRI project gave conceptual support in this process and was instrumental in developing Technical Guidelines on Environmentally Sound E-waste Management, which were meanwhile translated into mandatory requirements for all e-waste managing companies in the country,” he said.
The EPA Director said while requirements for recycler were widely in line with international standards, the guidelines also consider the situation of informal players and allowed them to become an integral part of the waste management system by using a tier approach with various ambition levels.
Mr Stalder said his country was one of the key importers of raw materials such as gold and cocoa from Ghana, hence the country’s support to the SRI project to ensure sustainability.
“In its pioneering role as one of the leading West African countries, we see Ghana as the best country to benefit from this project. Switzerland and Ghana continue to maintain a longstanding partnership which recently culminated in an official state visit of the President Nana Akufo-Addo to Switzerland,” he said.