Sustainable E-Waste Management in Ghana
Michael Funcke-Bartz1, Markus Spitzbart2
1Deutsche Gesellschaft fuer Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH, Germany; 2Deutsche Gesellschaft fuer Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH, Ghana
Population growth, rising prosperity and changing consumer habits are leading in Ghana as in many other developing and emerging countries to growing quantities of waste from electrical and electronic equipment. In addition, used devices are being imported that only have a relatively shorter life span; some even can be regarded as waste on arrival. A formal recycling industry in Ghana is only weakly developed, so that end-of-life devices are mainly collected and dismantled by scrap-workers from the informal sector, resulting in serious environmental and health impacts. The current practice of inappropriate treatment of e-waste externalises costs, giving the informal sector advantages over companies that take into account environmental and social standards and ensure appropriate treatment even of problematic e-waste fractions. Ghana’s Government has recognized these challenges and passed in 2016 the Hazardous and Electronic Waste Control and Management Bill.
Against this background, Deutsche Gesellschaft fuer Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH has been commissioned by the Federal Ministry of Economic Cooperation and Development with a project that shall contribute to improving conditions for sustainable e-waste management in Ghana. It combines policy advice with development of economically viable business models, and comprises as a third component capacity development in the informal e-waste sector. Stakeholder dialog shall contribute to a better understanding of the challenges and the potentials of the public, the private and the informal sector. The experience gained in the project will also contribute to a better understanding how local recycling industries can be strengthened and effectively be integrated into a global resource efficient circular economy.
The input to the WRF 2017 shall frame the conceptual background of the GIZ project, its linkages with other projects like the SRI-Project implemented by EMPA, WRF and ecoinvent. It will also provide insights into the experience gained during the first year of its implementation.