International Development Planning Review

E-waste: an emerging challenge to solid waste management in Ghana

International Development Planning Review (2010), 32, (2), 191–206.

Abstract

The recent expanded usage of electronic materials like computers, television sets and refrigerators in Ghana has not generated an effective infrastructure of waste disposal. Since wastes associated with many electronic products exhibit hazardous characteristics, the absence of e-waste management law and appropriate infrastructure to handle its end-of-life by-products have compounded the challenges posed by their disposal. Using both qualitative and quantitative research methods, this paper examines the current e-waste management practices in Ghana. It highlights some of the associated environmental and health hazards, and challenges the argument that the exportation of e-products to developing countries will primarily help 'bridge the digital divide'. Finally, it calls on the authorities to enact and enforce appropriate regulations and policies to help bring better environmental control into the booming ICT sector.

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Author details

Oteng-Ababio, Martin