Waste Management giant, Zoomlion Ghana Limited has supported informal waste pickers and it’s own staff among other waste managers to build their capacities in waste material recovery at the Kingdom of Thailand to help create a circular economy in Ghana.
The concept of a circular economy creates a production and consumption system which involves recycling of waste materials to last as long as possible.
The team has begun an intensive two-weeks training in urban mining/waste recovery at the Asean Institute of Recycling and the Wongpanit International company Limited in the province of Phitsanulok in Thailand.
A Communications specialist with the Jospong Group of Companies, Isabella Gyau Orhin who is with the team in Thailand in an interview disclosed that “the concept of circular economy offers opportunities by reducing waste and creating employment opportunities. The Jospong Group is committed to developing Ghana’s recycling ecosystem where there is Zero tolerance for waste material hence the need to learn from global standards”.
“The team comprised of informal waste pickers who have demonstrated commitment in waste recovery, selected leaders of the church of Pentecost who are leading the Church’s Environmental Care Campaign in Ghana and waste management technocrats within the Jospong Group.”
Mrs. Orhin explained that “the choice of Phitsanulok known as the City of Recycling in Thailand was strategic as their Zero waste model of using recycling to create a circular economy utilizes simple technologies and encourages community participation which is in line with Jospong Group ’s mission of improving people’s lives and their environment.”
A Senior Government Advisor and Senator of Thailand, General Vichit Yathip in his welcome address encouraged the team to implement Thailand’s circular economy model as done by the Wongpanit International company through waste recycling.
“The Wongpanit business model is sustainable and has created employment opportunities for the people of Thailand and also saves the environment from pollution”, he emphasised.
The President of Wongpanit Group, Dr. Somthai Wongcharoen who has been crowned in Thailand as “The King of Recycling” in his statement expressed his excitement for the partnership between the Jospong Group and the Wongpanit Group as both businesses are inclined towards saving the environment and creating employment for their people.
He said the team is being trained in “urban mining business with recycling” which will help convert waste to valued resources in areas of plastics waste, paper waste, metal scrap, electronic waste, glass scrap, and innovations in creating value from municipal solid waste according to the circular economy concept.
Dr. Somthai added that during his visit to Ghana he noticed huge opportunities to grow the economy of Ghana through the circular economy concept hence the training is heavily based on “hands-on experience and practicals.”
The Coordinator of the Environmental Care Campaign of the Church of Pentecost, Apostle Samuel Gakpetor, said the model will work well with the aggregators trained by the Church of Pentecost.
“As a church we are interested in the total wellbeing of our members and not only in their spiritual lives. Since the Church has become the centre of the lives of our members, we must endeavour to add value to every facet of their values, he hinted. Thus, this concept of recycling will create jobs for church members and help improve their economic situations.”
The 30-member team is working with Wongpanit and its franchise outlets in Thailand to help easily implement the model in Ghana.