E-waste fund to generate US$100m annually
The country is expected to generate US$100m on the average annually, following the approval of the Hazardous and Electronic Waste Control and Management Bill, 2016, by Parliament; which will provide for the control, management and disposal of hazardous and electronic waste.
According to the report of the Select Committee on Environment, Science and Technology-on the Hazardous and Electronic Waste Control and Management Bill -- the establishment of an Electronic Waste Recycling Fund is envisaged to generate an estimated amount of US$100m on average annually through the Ministry of Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation.
“The object of the fund is to provide funds to support the management of e-waste on human health and the environment. The sources of the fund include moneys approved by Parliament, fees and charges levied by the Agency in respect of items specified under the Fifth Schedule and any other moneys approved by the Minister for Finance,” the report stated.
The bill, according to the report, is divided into two parts- the first one seeks to deal with hazardous wastes, their disposal and to also domesticate the Basel Convention on Transboundary Movement of Hazardous Wastes and their Disposal.
The other part prescribes the Electrical Waste and Electrical Waste Levy, which will establish the Electrical and Electronic Waste Management Fund as well as the Electronic Waste Recycling Plant.
Discarded electrical and electronic equipment such as computers, mobile phones, refrigerators and television sets are considered to be among the fastest growing waste streams in the world with estimated five to ten percent increase in global e-waste annually.
Chairman of the Committee on Environment, Science and Technology, Simon Edem Asimah, explained to B&FT that the bill will enable Ghana avoid the eventuality of being a dumping ground of waste products, especially the hazardous ones, by having actual and objective report(s) on the nature of the shipments, especially when these are declared as ‘used’ ones rather than ‘wastes’.
The report also noted that the establishment of electrical and electronic waste recycling plant in the country will spur new job opportunities directly for those engaged in the collection or recycling facilities and indirectly to those who are engaged in buy-sell trade of recovered materials such as metals, plastics and other recyclable materials.
“This will be a big boom for the teeming unemployed youth in the country, especially the large unskilled and semi-skilled labour force. For instance, it is estimated that the implementation of the innovative solution to be designed will create jobs for Ghanaians across the country” the report highlighted.
Furthermore, the establishment of the plant is expected to enable Ghana develop a market for the hazardous, electrical and electronic wastes in the West African sub-region which will bring income in the form of revenues from the recycled materials and other by-products.
The present manner of hazardous waste management in Ghana, the report states, does not only pollute natural resources and endanger the health of the people but also affects substantial business opportunity in material recovery and recycling.
It is in this light that, the chairman of the committee stressed that it has become necessary to enact legislation on hazardous and electronic waste in order to ensure a sound waste management and recycling system to save our forests and future generations.
The legislation will also make Ghana fulfil her obligations under the Basel Convention on the Control of Transboundary Movement of Hazardous Waste, and the Rotterdam Convention on Prior Informed Consent Procedure for Certain Hazardous Chemicals and Pesticides in International Trade and the Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants.