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Abstract

Solid Waste Characterization and Recycling Potential for University Campuses in Ghana: Case Study of Two Ghanaian Universities

Institutional solid waste has not received enough attention in Ghana, as is the case in most developed countries. Institutional waste is still handled and disposed off together with domestic waste. A fundamental prerequisite for a successful implementation of any waste management plan is the availability of sufficient and reliable information about the quantities and composition of the waste generated. This paper used a case based methodological approach to assess the quantities and characteristics of waste generated in tertiary academic institutions in Ghana and provide insights into existing waste collection and disposal approaches, so as to recommend sustainable avenues for institutional policy improvement. The management of solid waste in Ghana subscribes to a notion of sustainability and emphasizes an ‘integrated approach’ which is based on the ‘waste hierarchy’-prevention, minimization, re-use, recycling, energy recovery and final waste disposal. While prevention, minimization and energy recovery is becoming increasingly difficult, energy recovery is becoming increasingly difficult, final waste disposal. While prevention, minimization and energy recovery is becoming increasingly difficult, attention is now shifting to recycling and re-use. Our waste audit conducted through characterization revealed that the solid waste compositions were found to be papers, food and plastic waste suggesting a strong potential for recycling. An examination of the institutions’ waste management policies revealed no emphasis on waste recycling, a situation that translate into resource wastage and an increase in cost of waste management.


Author(s): Dery FA, Kuusaana ED and Owusu-Sekyere E

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