Municipal solid waste characterisation and quantification as a measure towards effective waste management in the Takoradi Sub-Metro (Ghana)

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Waste collection and disposal is a challenge for many metropolitan and municipal assemblies in Ghana and the Takoradi metropolis is no exception. Currently, all the waste generated in Takoradi sub-metro ends up at the final disposal sites without any recovery of the valuables in the waste. Waste separation efficiency and willingness to separate waste at source, the physical composition and the per capita waste generated per each household within the Takoradi metropolis were studied over a five week period. Questionnaire survey and interviews with key stakeholders were also carried out. The results show a solid waste composition of 60.01% biodegradables, 11.47% plastic, 7.35% paper and cardboard, 2.38% metals, 1.51% glass, 1.22% leather and rubber, 2.91% textiles, 8.04% inert materials and 4.98% miscellaneous materials. Over 80% of the waste had the potential for reuse (potentially recyclable) and of the usable material, 22.67% can be recycled and 63.64% for composting. The average per capita waste generated was 0.70 kg/ca/day. The average moisture of biodegradables waste was 54.99%. 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.
A thesis submitted to the Department of Theoretical and Applied Biology, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology in partial fulfillment of the requirements Master of Science degree in Environmental Science.