Did you know?
Estimates suggest that up to 70% of the 1980 tonnes of daily plastic waste in Ghana end up on the streets.
Drinking water and groceries in Ghana are contained in little plastic sachets and plastic bags, respectively. Most of these bags find their way on the street where they clog drains and consequently increase the risk of destructive flooding during the rainy season. Research has shown that part of the cholera outbreaks in Ghana’s capital Accra – which amount to approximately 60 per week – can be attributed to the use of plastic bags, such as those found on the street, for other purposes than intended (e.g. “flying toilet”).
What is Recycle Up! Ghana?
Recycle Up! Ghana seeks to increase pupils’ awareness of environmental issues, to provide a better understanding of the potential adverse societal effects implied by excessive plastic waste pollution as well as to develop a sustainable, local recycling solution preventing such. These objectives are to be accomplished through the project’s main element: a two-week long summer camp.
The content of the camp is threefold:
In the first part, the training will foster the students’ awareness about the plastic waste problem and related societal conflicts by providing them with hands on knowledge regarding the implications of unwarily disposal of plastic waste and different ways of circumventing it.
In a second step, the students will explore landfill sites and recycling companies to look at the common practices of waste management in reality. In local communities, they are then going to apply their previously acquired knowledge through the identification and documentation of observed plastic pollution problems.
Finally, the students will work in teams to develop waste management solutions for the identified problems in their schools or local communities. Being accompanied by an experienced mentor, the teams will be provided proper guidance in terms of quality and feasibility of their proposals.
The teams that come up with the most promising solutions will be awarded by a jury during the “Grand Finale” of the summer camp. Further assistance by Technology without Border e.V. in implementing their recycling idea in the local community.
Involving all participants as change agents and nominating them as Recycle Up! Ambassadors will amplify the spread of knowledge and awareness. Throughout the camp, the Recycle Up! Ghana initiative will provide students with proper training that enables them to disseminate ideas in their local communities.
Recycle Up! believes that increasing awareness among the future leaders is one of the key determinants when striving to implement recycling solutions that are capable of preventing long term conflicts in the community.
Through the implementation of recycling clubs in participating schools, the Recycle Up! Ghana project will benefit these schools in a sustainable manner and multiply its effect also far beyond the camp’s duration and participants.
Background of Recycle Up! Ghana
The idea of Recycle Up! Ghana was outlined in 2014 by a joint discussion of the initiators and co-founders from the mother organization Technology without Borders which is a registered NGO in Germany and Ghana: Torben Fischer, Manuel Schulze, Alhassan Baba Muniru and Sampson Oboh. About 20 European-Ghanaian team leaders are working on this initiative now. There are also experts, key stakeholders, local authorities and partners backing this initiative.
The Recycle Up! Ghana Initiative is driven by the German-Ghanaian NGO Technology without Borders (Technik ohne Grenzen e.V.) which has more than 6 years of project experience in waste management and other fields. Both European and Ghanaian members of the NGO support the initiative’s activities throughout the year, by providing the Recycle Up! Ambassadors with mentoring, equipment and contacts to local waste management companies as well as municipalities
How it began: The story of Recycle Up! Ghana 2014
In 2014, the Recycle Up! Ghana Summer Camp took place from the 4th- 14th of August. The camp brought together 27 students, aged between 15 and 19, from nine different Senior High Schools throughout the Kumasi Metropolis in the Ashanti Region. The venue for the camp was the Queens hall, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Kumasi.
Team Spider‘s idea of building a PTF device that transforms plastic to fuel was judged as the most promising idea by a jury of Recycle Up! Ghana team leaders and local recycling experts. Check out their story here.
Further, Team Jay proposed implementing a local recycling scheme in their local Senior High School, an idea that was picked up by the Recycle Up! Ambassadors and lead to the follow-up project Recycle Up! Your School. Check out Team Jay’s story here. For more information about Recycle Up! Your School click here.
The idea of Recycle Up! Ghana was outlined by a joint discussion of the initiators and co-founders from TeoG Germany and the regional group in Ghana: Torben Fischer, Manuel Schulze, Alhassan Baba Muniru and Sampson Oboh. The initial funding in 2014 was provided by the Davis Peace Foundation which awarded the project idea with the Davis Peace Prize 2014 (http://www.davisprojectsforpeace.org/).
More than one year after Kick-off, the project turned into an initiative: In 2015, we plan to hold two parallel Recycle Up! Ghana Summer camps! Technology without Borders e.V. strong presence in Cape Coast and Kumasi, provides ideal conditions for holding summer camps at these locations.