Municipal Solid Waste Characterisation and Quantification as a measure towards Effective Waste Management in the Takoradi Sub-Metro, Ghana
Waste management is a major challenge to many metropolitan and municipal assemblies in Ghana. The quantity of waste generated from the cities keep increasing at a faster rate without increasing facilities to match its management. In the Takoradi sub-metro for instance, all the waste generated ends up at the final disposal sites without any recovery of the valuables. Proper management of the generated waste requires reliable and informative data which could assist in the collection as well as value addition process. Waste separation efficiency; willingness to separate waste at source; physical composition and per capita waste generated by households within the Takoradi sub-metropolis were studied over a five-week period. Questionnaire, interviews and survey were employed in collection of the required data. The data were analysed using SPSS. The results showed solid waste composition of 60.0% organics, 11.5% plastics, 8.0% inert materials, 7.1% papers and cardboard, 5.0% miscellaneous materials, 2.9% textiles, 2.4% metals, 1.5% glasses and 1.2% leather and rubber. Over 80% of the waste fraction has the potential for recovery into other products; with this, 22.7% could be recycled and 63.6% suitable for biological conversions such as composting and anaerobic digestion since they have moisture content as high as 55%. The average per capita waste generated within the sub-metro was 0.70 kg/cap/day. Households were able to separate the organic fractions from the rest of the waste fractions reaching effectiveness of 92% for organic separation and 83% for all other wastes. The data generated on the quantity and composition of the waste stream in the metropolis would play a positive role in solid waste management and help solid waste managers make informed decisions on waste management options.