Interview with Dana Mosora at the new CASH IT! Recycling Plant in TEMA WEST

ASASE opens the gates of its second Plastic Recycling Plant in Accra!

Located in Tema West, this plant displaces an informal dumpsite of a community and transforms it into a workplace for women and men who want to make a difference in their lives. They support the economic development of the community and wish to make our planet a better place to live in and leave for our children.

Check out the interview with our co-founder, Dana Mosora, as she explains all about the new plant.

What are your goals for this new plant?
Our new plant uses a scalable blueprint for any CASH IT! Operation.

The plant has been built with what we believe is the optimum floor plan for reprocessing annually 2’000T of polyolefins packaging and other items waste: water sachets made of soft polyethylene, oil gallons, or other personal care packaging and household items made of hard polyethylene.

It is an economically and environmentally efficient plant that minimizes the environmental impact of reprocessing plastic waste in the community where it is built. The water used in our processes is treated for decontamination and reused in the production process.

Meanwhile, the equipment is built to make it easy to run by women so we can maximize the percentage of women working in the plant.

Once we run through the learning curve of running this plant, which should be over 6 months after the launch (or by January 2023), we will be ready to duplicate it based on these learning curve insights.

We already plan to build a new plant in Weija, Accra!

How is this project financed?
Our Project is about Closing the loop of plastic packaging in Ghana. It is now in phase 2, which started in Feb 2021 and lasts till Feb 2024, and it is co-financed by the European Union and The Alliance to End Plastic Waste.

What are the types of plastics you recycle?
We collect all household packaging: water sachets made of soft polyethylene, oil gallons, or other personal care and household packaging made of hard polyethylene. We also recycle household items made of polypropylene and PET water bottles.

We reprocess all packaging and items made of polyethylene and polypropylene, then sell the PET bottles to recyclers who make them into products in Ghana.

Our non-negotiable goal is to sell to recyclers in Ghana who are making products that are durable and will not return to the environment as hazardous waste.

How is your CASH IT equipment built?
This is one of my favorite stories! We met an artisan in Katamanso who knew how to build most of the equipment: crushers, horizontal washing tanks, vertical friction washers, screw conveyers, etc. We worked with him and helped him increase the quality and reliability of the equipment and now all the equipment in the new plant is done by him.

We put him in competition with other equipment suppliers through the tendering process when we put out the call for offers for building the equipment in this plant and he won: best technical offer and best price. This process proved to us that taking the time to train him paid back.

What are some of the extra partnerships you had to accomplish this?
I would like to start with the partnership with the Tema West Municipality. It was very important to have their support to find the land to rent, conclude the rental agreement, and work together to clean that land, which was previously an informal dumping site.

The ASASE partnerships

With the enabling support of TWMA (Tema West Municipal Assembly), we gathered the attention of the Electrical Company and Water Company in the area to get all connections timely and efficiently.

And last but not least, TWMA officers supported our further engagement with community leaders to make us known to residents and initiate the recruitment and training of waste pickers. The public school teachers and students are then trained for segregating plastic.

We are carrying over from our first community, Kpone-Katamso, the learnings on how to run our integrated model where communities are our source of plastic waste and working force. We give back to the community with economic growth, jobs, as well as creating a clean and healthy environment.

Where does this plastic come from?
This plastic comes from the streets of the communities of the Tema West Municipality and other neighboring communities. We help clean the communities, reduce plastic litter, and create jobs to increase the economic value for other entrepreneurs and workers whom we attracted to the Municipality.

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