The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), Ghana has revealed that about fifty-nine (59) percent of Ghanaians do not segregate their waste.
The report spearheaded by the UNDP Accelator Lab dubbed “Let’s Talk About Recycling” sought to generate primary data about the complex systems of issues affecting waste management and recycling in Ghana.
The recycle survey constituted 405 respondents mainly sampled from the Greater Accra and Ashanti regions. Of this number, 53.1% were males, 45.2% females, and 1.7% who preferred not to say.
The survey revealed that only 41 per cent of respondents segregate their waste because they ‘support different economic activities’.
“41% segregate their waste, but the majority do not, mainly because they do not know who will collect the segregated waste (16%). Those who segregate support different economic activities including food-processing and the creative sector. Some give glass waste to craft companies who produce traditional glass bead jewelry; compost food waste into manure for farming; sell plastic bottles to juice-makers who bottle sobolo (a hibiscus-based drink); and donate plastic waste to youth-led recycling schemes for making school bags. 23% segregate their waste regularly – we call them Eco-conscious Kofis and Amas,” the report read.
Of the generated waste, the top five recyclable materials generated daily are plastics which contribute 36.2%, 34.7% for food waste, 19.8% for paper, 4.3% for glass and 4.0% for metals.
While 26.3% of them agreed that more recycling would make the country cleaner, 77% alluded to the fact their communities were badly affected by the plastic litter.
Reasons why waste is not segregated
According to the respondents, 16.3% do not know who will collect their recycling materials, 5.2% do not know where to take the materials for recycling.
6.8% find it difficult to separate the recyclable waste from general waste. This indicates that about 28.3% have the interest to segregate. 2.8%, however, do not have the time.
How to solve the problem
Some of the respondents called for the establishment of visible community recycling facilities, increased awareness and the provision of affordable bins.
A section (10%) of the respondents also said “they would only recycle if they were paid to, but many suggested incentives including pay-back or points-redemption, to cultivate and sustain segregation habits”.
There was also a strong case for the use of “more Ghanaian languages and less English in public campaigns, and tailoring communication to suit the different levels of environmental awareness in communities.”
The report was put together by Head of Experimentation, UNDP Accelerator Lab, Ghana, Allen Anie, and Gaeten Agbaam, Young Reporters for Environment, Ghana.
UNDP Accelerator Lab, Ghana has been exploring, mapping solutions, and experimenting in the waste-management space, applying behavioural insights, collective intelligence, and ethnographic approaches.
To generate primary data about the complex systems of issues affecting waste management and recycling in particular, they collaborated with the Ghana Waste Recovery Platform, being facilitated by UNDP and Young Reporters for the Environment to launch the Let’s Talk About Recycling Survey (powered by Airtable).
See full report here:
Story by: Michael Papanii Ashalley, Rabiatu Alhassan & Maria Aluko | universnewsroom.com