Waste Recovery Platform

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The initiative facilitates the establishment of the “Waste Recovery Platform” as a one stop shop solution to connect key stakeholders and provide them with data and technological solutions in order to promote waste recovery in a larger circular economy context.

Good Health and Well-Being , Clean Water and Sanitation , Affordable and Clean Energy , Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure , Sustainable Cities and Communities , Responsible Consumption and Production , Life below Water , Partnerships for the Goals

Waste management has become a development challenge in most developing countries of which Ghana is noexception. Aside the environmental challenges, inefficient waste management in cities andcommunities exposes people to a myriad of health risks, establishes high risks of environmental degradation andexposes natural resources and water bodies to degradation and reduction in quality.

Ghana's municipalities face significant challenges with solid waste management. It is estimated that over 20,000 tonnes of municipal solid waste are generated daily with an average of 0.67kg per person daily. Accra, being the highest waste generation location in Ghana, has an average generation rate of about 3,000 tonnes of municipal waste per day, out of which at least 300 tonnes are estimated to be plastics.

Nation-wide, less than one quarter of generated household wastes are collected and disposed at properly engineered landfills; the rest is discarded at open public dumps including water bodies, whiles about 10% are openly burnt, contributing to the high levels of pollution in the Ghanaian environment.A staggering half of that waste is not collected, treated or safely disposed of, and it’s causing a waste crisis.A recent study indicates that environmental pollution costs Ghana an estimated 5-10 percent of its total GDP yearly. However, Ghana can generate GH¢83 billion annually through recycled waste. From the health perspective, inefficient waste management in Ghana's cities and communities exposes people to a myriad of health risks, such as cholera, dysentery and increased occurrence of malaria, and degrades natural environments, especially terrestrial water bodies and marine ecosystems.

One of the challenges identified to be causing Ghana’s waste situation is the under-development of domestic market for waste plastics, which had saturated the country.Others are financial constraints, attitudes and behaviour of people andineffective enforcement of laws and policies. Local government institutions have the responsibility but not adequate data/information nor the financial resources to effectively plan for and implement sustainable and innovative waste management solutions. Partnerships among key stakeholders along the waste management chain in the country are either weak or non-existent.Various research institutions and private sector operators are increasingly coming up with innovative solutions, but there is no system in place to promote the creation of synergies and collaborations that could bring implementation to scale. The United Nations Development Programme in Ghana launched the ‘Waste’ Recovery Platform with the aim of at addressing these challenges.

The Waste Recovery Platform is a one-stop shop solution being developed to connect key stakeholders in the waste management value chain to promote waste recovery in a larger circular economy context. The Initiative has two components: (1) a digital platform to connect stakeholders to facilitate waste recovery, which will be equipped with tools such as a waste map, a compendium of technologies, and mobile application for trading of waste; and (2) a business competition where at least eight innovative projects will be awarded seed capital to demonstrate waste recovery in Ghana.
Implementation began in June 2018 with a meeting that convened all key stakeholders. A co-designing approach was adopted where 5 technical working groups were formed to discuss the design, operation and management of the platform, with guidance from UNDP. Below are the working groups, the scope of their work and progress made in their discussions:
a.The data and Policy: They have defined the parameters for the methodology for data collection, responsibilities, other key data issues related to the development of the platform and its tools.
b.The National Competition: They have recommended the process for the selection of the waste recovery projects to be supported by the Initiative.
c.The Website and App: They have provided recommendations for the design, structure and functionalities of the digital platform and outlined the timeline for the development of digital tools.
d.The Communication and Awareness: They have identified target groups and strategies for a communication campaign to be developed in 2019
e.The Sustainability and Financing: They have proposed a governance structure for the platform and shared some ideas on how to deal with various sustainability factors.
a.The co-designing process has given key stakeholders in the waste management value chain the opportunity to discuss issues of common interest to enhance their operations and explore opportunities for partnerships.
b.One partnership has been established between two multinational companies and a local start-up company to establish plastic collection points to promote recycling in Ghana.
c.There has been increased awareness on opportunities for waste recovery in Ghana through information shared on the Initiative’s activities.
d.Increasing investor confidence in the waste management sector due to the availability of the platform to address concerns, provide updated data and provide potential partners with experience on the market.


UNDP (Country Investment Facility)

UNDP Ghana; Embassy of Netherlands; CYST; Green Team Embassies;Ministry of Environment , Science , Technology and Innovation; Ministry of Finance; Ghana Statistical Service; Ministry of Sanitation and Water Resources; Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development; Academic Institutions; NGOs; Private Sector

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