Towards an Integrated Approach to Solid Waste Management in Ghanaian Cities

  • Rosina Sheburah Essien University of Ghana
Keywords: Accra, informal sector, market, integration, solid waste management, switch waste contracts


Solid Waste Management (SWM) in cities has become a theme of utmost importance in urban geography compared to studies in rural areas which have smaller population sizes and limited consumption options that are relatively more manageable. Existing studies reveal that integration of formal and informal SWM actors is the needed mechanism to overcome SWM challenges. Integration is also at the heart of the 2012 Ghana National Urban Policy, yet urban spaces are zoned under public-private partnership (PPP) arrangement with private formal SWM actors. How to integrate the burgeoning numbers of private informal SWM service providers still remains unaddressed owing to a host of disparate institutional, political, and socio-economic factors. Using field-based data collected in three open-air markets in Accra, this paper examines the integration pathways used to include informal SWM actors in the context of PPP and thence argues for the need to rethink current SWM approaches in a participatory manner since most Ghanaian cities are facing limited financial and infrastructural resources, growing inequalities and increasing informality regarding urban metabolism flow.