Stop waste burning to avert environmental crisis in Accra - AMA urges


The Accra Metropolitan Assembly (AMA) has issued a stern warning against the dangerous practice of solid waste burning in the metropolis cautioning residents to cease the harmful practice to prevent an environmental crisis or face legal action.

According to the AMA, solid waste burning releases greenhouse gases and harmful pollutants into the atmosphere which degrade air quality, harm human health and contribute to climate change by increasing the concentration of gases like carbon dioxide and methane.

The Deputy Waste Management Director of the AMA, Mr Victor Kotey, gave the caution during a consultative meeting between the Assembly and its stakeholders on the 2024 Fee-Fixing Rates (FFR) on Tuesday at the Church of Pentecost, North Kaneshie District, in the Okai Koi South sub-Metro.

He reiterated that it was an offence under the AMA sanitation bye-laws which states that a person commits an offence if that person, “indiscriminately dumps solid and liquid waste in open spaces, drains, gutters, behind walls or burns solid waste in one's compound”.

He disclosed that the AMA was implementing proper waste management practices, such as recycling and composting, to help mitigate these negative effects on the climate and the environment calling on residents to give their waste to accredited waste management companies certified by the Assembly.

" As a city authority we strongly encourage residents to adopt responsible waste management practices such as recycling, composting, as well as utilizing designated waste collection services among residents to significantly reduce their carbon footprint and contribute to a healthier environment," he said.

He said the Assembly embarked on a data collection exercise on greenhouse gas inventory and the waste management sector emerged as the highest contributor of emissions which was impacting global warming and climate change in the city of Accra and beyond hence the need to take action.

"The combustion of waste materials, particularly plastics, releases harmful greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide and methane into the atmosphere, thereby worsening global warming and its associated consequences...Aside from its impact on climate change, waste burning also poses significant risks to air quality and public health. The combustion of various materials releases toxic pollutants which can lead to respiratory issues, exacerbate allergies, and increase the incidence of other health problems," he said.

He indicated that the AMA would soon be piloting a waste separation program in households ...adding that there could be a slight increment in the pricing and charges of waste collection.

Present at the meeting were artisans, community-based organisations, financial institutions, opinion leaders and heads of department and staff of the AMA, among others.