Ghana is estimated to produce at least 1.7 million tons of plastic waste annually. The waste are not only produced as a result of house hold activities but also includes industry. Accra, the capital city alone produces about 300 tonnes of plastic waste in a day. This is according to the Urban Planning wing of the United Nations Development Programme.
This is a submission on how Ghanaians can make money from everyday refuse that is seemingly swallowing up the nation.
Make money from refuse collection business
In recent times many individuals and groups have come out with various recycling methods especially for plastics. However, there is still more to be done in the quest to save the environment. Also to make money the Ghanaian way out of everyday refuse.
As such, there are little things you can do as an individual to turn the waste we generate into revenue or income. If you have observed, in most neighborhoods, especially in the morning, young men riding tricycles, pick up refuse for a fee. I have personally observed the inability of most of them to sustain their activities or business. Speaking to a few, I deduce a lack of maintenance culture of the tricycles they use whiles others do not save income they generate.
The inability to save part of the income generated leads to difficulty in getting ready cash for maintenance work on their tricycles. There is also a challenge in falling back on money that was perhaps saved for days when business is bad. Hence, If you are an individual hoping to invest some capital into a business to support energetic unemployed youths, take a look into this business. Note however that the right business structures will have to be laid. You will have to purchase a fleet of these tricycles. Then observe and estimate how much revenue is to be generated in a day. Also if you adhere to best business practices, you can put money aside to run the day to day business activity and also grow profit margins as time goes on.
Make money from old electronic gadgets
This is another means to make money from everyday refuse. Another little income generating avenue you can look at is taking note of valuable components in electronic gadgets. Just for example purposes, I have over a period of ten years changed mobile phones at least six times. The handsets most times are faulty which requires I throw them away. Selling components useful in them to scrub dealers fetched at least some cedis to supplement money needed to buy call credit. Same valuable components can also be found in televisions, laptops, sound systems, ceiling fans and others. Hence, do not throw these faulty equipments off the refuse dump and make nothing. Rather look at handing them over to scrub dealers for some “coins”.
Use Refuse to design artworks for sale
Art is a very expensive form of entertainment in other part of the world. Gradually it is catching up with Ghanaians who are developing a taste for them. There is an increasing number of Non Governmental Organization who are looking at preserving the environment. They are heavily supporting initiatives tailored towards such. A very creative artiste will want to delve into exploring waste materials and how it can be packaged artistically into an income generating option. In this case, not only will the artiste be making money out of waste materials. They will also be saving the environment with support from environmental conscious NGO’s.
Recycling of Sachet Water packs
Prior to this write up, and for the opportunity to get first hand information, I also took up the used sachet water packs re-cycling challenge. I want to share with you how it has generated income for me. Note however that, no income is too small remembering that, little drops of water is all you need to start a flood. I drunk four bags of sachet water and traded the waste for revenue. The amount I got was able to purchase one bag of water during my subsequent refill. Although this might be little, calculate the amount on one bag for a year and you will appreciate how consequential the amount is.
Again note, there is nothing like small money. Go on and explore other areas of generating income out of the waste around you. You will be surprised at how well in these difficult financial times you will be well cushioned.
Author: Albert Agbenyegah