Recycle Up! Ghana – The Idea

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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:

Knowledge

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.

Experience

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.

Solutions

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.

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7 thoughts on “Recycle Up! Ghana – The Idea

  1. Good day, I think you are doing the right thing and I am busy with a similar project on a smaller scale in another country, I would love to see and experience some of your on going projects,
    I am living on the island of Principe, part of Sao Tome and Principe

  2. The event was so great. Having lead the TeamSpider come out as the winners for the PTF idea, i believe we need to lobby agencies and government to incorporate the ideas of recycling into the Ghanaian education system. The students had so much brilliant ideas that were very peculiar to our situations in Ghana.

    I will entreat anyone who can support RecycleUpGhana to do so to make it something big and established all across the nation.

    Earth is our only home, and there is no better place we could keep clean through recycling than home. Let’s RecycleUpGhana!

  3. Recycle up!!! Creating local solutions to the waste problem in Ghana!
    My name is John Doku-Marfo Jnr., a final year Environmental Science student of Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Kumasi- Ghana. With the knowledge I gained over the years of studying the environment, I developed a strong passion for it and this led to my involvement in a Non-governmental Organization called Ghana Youth Climate Coalition. I had also heard about TeoG through a colleague but I didn’t know much about them until I was involved in Recycle up Ghana Summer Camp. Studying Environmental Science has really exposed me to a lot and I thought I could become the change I had been seeking for by applying for mentorship to impact on others. My application was received and duly granted, thanks to the organizers.
    I got to the camp and had the chance to interact with people from all walks of life. In the quest of impacting on others, I also had the privilege to learn a lot, including preparation of PowerPoint presentations, leadership, decision making and important uses of “wastes”. I really felt (and still do) good about being part of this huge change-making camp.
    As a mentor, I guided my team (Team Jay) to bring out the idea of waste segregation, specifically, plastic waste segregation. We developed this idea to gather sachet rubber wastes since it was in high demand by recycling firms and truly, our idea caught the eyes of the organizers winning us the second price. We are currently undertaking the project as planned and it is our wish that the summer camp continues. We wish all who want to support the second edition of this camp to do so in good faith as it really had an impact the first time.
    Long live TeoG! Long live Recycle up Ghana!! Long live Team Jay!!!

  4. Recycle up Ghana ,was a great program,that helped in the promotion of plastic waste recycling.The camp helped about nine senior high schools which brought about the establishment of a group called recycle up your school.They gather and segregate between plastic waste and other waste,also they have gained knowledge in using plastics to produce useful things either than littering.

    1. Recycle up Ghana was awesome! I got the chance to lead a group of students from 5 different senior high schools and together brought an idea of plastic waste segregation which won us the first runner up price. Personally, I got the opportunity to learn a lot about Powerpoint presentations, decision making and leadership. I hope Recycle up Ghana happens again as it really impacted my life and that of others. Long live TeoG! long live Recycle up! Long live Team Jay!!!

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