The Dansoman-Glefe community plastic buyback center in Ghana

The Dansoman-Glefe community plastic buyback center initiated by Coliba Ghana offers the avenue for community members to bring their plastic waste in exchange for cash, school fees, insurance incentives etc.

Coliba Ghana

The Dansoman-Glefe community plastic buyback center initiated by Coliba Ghana offers the avenue for community members to bring their plastic waste in exchange for cash, school fees, insurance incentives etc. The community plastic buyback center serves as a collection center for plastic wastes which are later converted into pellets in an environmentally friendly manner.

Coliba Ghana has supported the livelihood of several women including widows. Additionally, it has collected about 700 metric tons of plastics for recycling. Even in Ghana population growth and consumption habits has led to increasing disposal of plastics. This creates the need to recycle them in a safe and friendly manner and as well offers the opportunity to recover materials for reuse. Coliba Ghana offers complete plastic recovery, collection and recycling services through a tailored digital solutions and effective waste picker’s network. Their Dansoman-Glefe community buyback project among other collection centers create the incentive for consumers in the community to return their plastic wastes to the collection center rather than be disposed indiscriminately on the environment.

Objectives  

·        To collect, recycle and recover materials from plastic bottles in an environmentally friendly manner.

·        To provide financial support to community members to fund the education of their children thereby avoiding school dropouts

·        To give additional incentives including health insurance and cash

·        To integrate women including widows in the waste management sector.

 Consumers and waste pickers in the Dansoman-Glefe community and its environs return their waste plastic bottles to the buyback center in exchange for cash, insurance and school fees packages. The center is composed of waste pickers employed by Coliba Ghana especially women who take care of the plastics in terms of offloading, weighing, sorting and repacking for recycling. Other employees at the center also handle the cash-out and other incentive packages which is giving to the consumers on the spot.

In addition, in spring 2020, a new development was instituted during the covid-19 pandemic. The center added to their existing incentives the opportunity to exchange plastic wastes for gloves, hand sanitizers and masks to protect waste pickers from the deadly virus. The collected plastic bottles are then sent to the recycling plant to be converted into PET flakes. Afterwards, the flakes are exported to Canada to be reused.

The Dansoman-Glefe community buyback center including additional two collection centers also in Accra have contributed to the collection and recycling of 700 metric tons of plastic waste in an environmentally friendly manner which have resulted in 4,200 tons of CO2offset. Through these projects, the company has employed 310 workers consisting of 80% women. The center has also supported people with their kids’ education, given health insurances packages and distributed food items including bag of rice, sardine, bottle of oil etc. Moreover, 400 inclusive of hand sanitizers, nose mask and gloves have been distributed to waste pickers during the pandemic of Covid-19. The company is building capacity in other communities across Ghana.

The lack of regulations and enforcement makes the work of plastic waste picking difficult. Inadequate funds for recycling machinery, tricycles and acquiring new collection centers restrict the company from expanding their capacity. Lack of awareness on sustainable consumption and production is also a big challenge. EPR policy will help improve the situation. The company has built a mobile application (Coliba 2.0) which connects consumers to the company with a click of a button. Additionally, awareness campaigns on sustainable production and consumption will streamline the system.

Usage of plastic bottles is very high in both developed and developing countries. However, most developing countries do not have systems for collection and the capacity to recycle them. Incentive based model such as the Dansoman-Glefe community plastic buyback center can be replicated in developing countries to create the atmosphere for people to receive instant cash and other local packages while contributing to the sustainability of the environment. The incentives and project financing should be locally explored.

Coliba Ghana engages with local and foreign stakeholders in the implementation of its projects. One distinguishing feature about the Dansoman-Glefe community plastic buyback center is the exchange of plastic waste for instant incentives which supports the livelihood of waste pickers especially widows and single mothers. Coliba recently added other packages such as hand sanitizers, gloves and nose masks to reduce the risk of contracting corona virus. There is also an on-site physician to provide the best medical care and advice in these tough and unprecedented pandemic times. Moreover, Coliba Ghana provides training on occupational health and safety for all their employees.

Gaps and challenges have been mitigated by incentivizing and training waste pickers. Coliba Ghana engages with private partners for support to expand their capacity. Additionally, the company is certified by the Environmental Protection Agency in Ghana and still improving itself to continually meet environmental standards. Coliba Ghana monitors their operations by recording all relevant data including quantities collected, recycled, exported, number and gender of waste pickers and incentives issued. They also receive feedbacks from their stakeholders.The source of revenue for the company is by selling the PET flakes. In addition, the establishment of the Dansoman-Glefe community plastic buyback center was supported by UNDP, Voltic and Mohinani.

Contact
Coliba Ghana Ltd.
House No 25, Dela Avenue, Adjacent NHIS office, Abeka Lapaz
GHA - Accra

phone:+233208563799

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