Waste Management and Resource Recycling in the Developing World - Chapter 14: The future of e-waste in the circular economy of Ghana; implications for urban planning, environmental and human health risks

Elsevier, Waste Management and Resource Recycling in the Developing World, 2023, Pages 309-325
Asibey M.O., Abdulai A.-S.J., Jnr B.D., Tornyeviadzi P.

The “circular economy (CE)” has gained traction in the waste management discourse in the global north for the detoxification and recovery of valuable materials from e-waste. However, the approach’s applicability and extent of influence in maximizing economic benefits and addressing associated electronic waste risks in urban Africa remain unknown. This chapter examines the operationalization of and how the CE approach contributes to sustainable e-waste management in Ghana based on an extensive review of relevant literature. According to the findings of this study, the e-waste sector is evolving with increased volumes and risks, threatening urban environmental and socioeconomic sustainability. Although there has been private sector involvement in maximizing enterprise gains, there has been little progress in urban planning efforts to improve e-waste management via the CE approach. The CE approach is both operationally and intellectually appealing, but due to the numerous urban planning challenges in Ghanaian cities, it requires financial investments and training for efficient implementation. The chapter concludes that, while employing and implementing the concept appears difficult, given its benefits, the CE philosophy should be considered in national policies to guide waste and environmental management efforts.