By Gifty Arthur
Popular waste management company and a subsidiary of the JOSPONG Group of Companies, Zoomlion Ghana, has commissioned a state-of-the-art US$20 million Integrated Recycling and Compost Plant (IRECOP) last Friday in Accra.
Also known as Waste Recovery Park, the Plant, first of its kind in the country, is one of the numerous initiatives embarked upon by the giant waste management company, to compliment government efforts to rid the national capital of filth.
The commissioning of the plant, is a manifestation of the company’s commitment to shift from the usual dumping of refuse at dumpsites and engineered landfills which comes with all it challenges, to value addition through the use of sustainable technologies.
The facility, which will operate in a more environmentally friendly and innovative manner, has an 80percent waste recovery rate and a capacity to handle 400 tonnes of solid waste on a sixteen (16) hour shift. The IRECOP, will also serve as research and training center for educational institutions.
Located opposite the Korle-Bu Teaching Hospital mortuary, the Integrated Recycling and Compost Plant, aside it environmental benefits, is expected to generate a good number of jobs and provide raw materials to feed industry and others.
It is very close to the new Lavender Hill Sewage Plant commissioned few years ago by former President John Mahama to treat the capital’s solid.
Waste, generated in areas such as; Mamprobi, Chorkor, Laterbiokorshie, Agbogbloshie, James Town, Graphic Road, Korle-Bu, Korle Gono, Ashiedu Keteke, which all fall within the 5 kilometer radius of the integrated recycling and compost plant, will all be transported to the Plant.
Total estimated waste generated by these communities using a per capita generation per day for Accra as stated in Mezah et al (2015) is appropriately 809. 4 tons a day. This will enable the facility to run its planned two production lines daily at maximum capacity.
At the official opening of the Plant, the Executive Director of JOSPONG Group of Companies, Dr Joseph Siaw Agyapong, said Zoomlion, has over the past twelve years that it has operated, has transformed the waste management industry in the country by introducing integrated waste management solutions.
The new Plant, coupled with many others, including the company’s first waste compost treatment plant at Adjin Kotoku also in Accra, is aimed at working in partnership with members of the Environmental Service Providers Association (ESPA) and government to bring the needed change to the sector.
Having situated the Plant near the Korle Lagoon, Dr. Agyapong, was hopeful that the Lagoon former glory would be restored. According to him, the company is planning to establish in all the now sixteen regions using state-of-the-art technology, Integrated Recycling and Compost Plants.
“Today, as we see the Korle Lagoon, it is polluted you can’t get the same experience of fish, you can’t get the kinds of fish you used to get and all this is because of sanitation issues. So, this establishment here, is a symbol of redeeming the glory of the Korle Lagoon and also, recycle and transform, waste in technological way”, he said.
A Deputy Minister of Trade and Industry, Robert Ahomka Lindsey, who praised highly the contribution of the JOSPONG Group, said the new Plant which was first in the sub region, forms part of government industrialization agenda and job creation for the people, especially the youth.
“It is project like this, project that may seem simple but at the heart of it has a strong business case that has the capacity to absolve and take on board our people and the opportunity on the ground.
Therein lies the complexity and the ingenuity of this programme. The programme that is first as core of our country’s journey of the industrial transformation of where we are. Today, our economy based on two primary exports, is not able to sustain the thirty million Ghanaians and the five hundred thousand young people that become part of job market every year” Mr Lindsey.
Minister of Business Development, Mahammed Ibrahim Awal, who represented the Vice President, Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia, said government would continue to partner the private sector service providers to bring development.
Alhaji Mohammed Ibrahim Awal, said the facility had come at an opportune time, considering the overburdened landfill sites in the region. The Minister, urged the various metropolitan, municipal, district chief executives, to enforce their bi-laws.