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Assessing the Role of Waste Pickers in the Recycling Industry in Accra Metropolis

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Document pages: 15 pages

Abstract: Despite their contributions to solving specific waste management issues by collecting recyclables, waste-pickers are maligned when waste management policies are formulated. The purpose of this study was to assess and expose the beneficial economic and environmental protection role of waste pickers and how they can be integrated into the solid waste management system. The study imposed both quantitative and qualitative data collection method (mixed method research). The primary data were sourced through face-to-face in-depth interviews with operators and managers of the dumpsites. The selected waste pickers were asked to fill a questionnaire that brought to the fore all that their work entails from the number of recyclables recovered to their occupational health and safety. Results show that the volume of waste retrieved from the waste stream at the three dumpsites in Accra metropolis is less than 1 per annum. The waste pickers, if integrated into the waste management system and motivated, could help in reviving the recycling industry which would reduce the pressure on virgin materials and the environment. It is also their source of livelihood. The benefits are mutual.

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