TOGO – The Greater Lomé Autonomous District (DAGL) is relying on innovation to decrease the volume of household waste being sent to landfill sites in Greater Lomé.

With 190,000 tonnes of household waste produced annually in the capital and its suburbs, DAGL is seeking solutions to reduce the amount of waste sent to the Aképé technical landfill center.

The DAGL encompasses the city of Lomé and its surrounding communes, and the landfill is located approximately 20 km from the city center.

The call for projects, which closes on January 15, 2024, is exclusively open to young Togolese entrepreneurs and businesses. Applicants must have practical techniques for recycling organic waste into new products.

Of the 110,000 tonnes of organic waste produced each year in Greater Lomé, the DAGL aims to recover 10,000 tonnes annually.

The DAGL also generates 40,000 tonnes of plastic out of the 190,000 tonnes of household waste produced annually in Greater Lomé.

The local authority’s ambition is to recycle 1,000 tonnes of plastic waste annually. The same volume of glass waste will be recovered from the 5,000 tonnes that are sent to landfill every year. At least 5,000 tonnes of metal waste will also be recycled, out of the 25,000 tonnes produced each year.

The DAGL’s specifications also call for the recovery of 1,000 tonnes of used paper and cardboard out of the 10,000 tonnes generated over a 12-month period.

The recycled products will be sold to individuals and businesses in Togo. Each interested company will need to develop a communication plan that is suitable for its size in order to emphasize the actions taken and the partnership with the DAGL.

This initiative is being implemented as part of the third phase of the Lomé Urban Environmental Project (Peul III), which aims to enhance solid waste management and strengthen the governance of the DAGL. Peul III is financially supported by the French Development Agency (AFD).

DRC President calls for promotion of circular economy

In another development, Félix Tshisékedi, the President of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), has instructed the government to implement a policy aimed at promoting the circular economy in urban areas, beginning with Kinshasa.

The 24 councils of the Congolese capital, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, suffer from the degrading and unacceptable sight of waste littering the streets, gutters, and waterways.

This situation of notorious uncleanliness poses both a governance challenge and an economic opportunity. This mission has been entrusted directly to the Ministry of Industry in this Central African country.

“Initially, the aim will be to take stock of the entire industrial sector involved in recycling plastic waste, in order to develop a model that can be replicated in other towns in the country,” reports the DRC Presidency.

The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) reports that the 17 million residents of Kinshasa produce 3 million tonnes of plastic waste annually.

Félix Tshisékedi’s recommendations are in line with the 6th and 12th Sustainable Development Goals (SDG6 and 12), which focus on sanitation and responsible production and consumption, respectively.

They should also lead to the creation of local jobs for unemployed young people through the promotion of activities related to the collection and treatment of waste.

A number of start-ups, notably OK Plast and Plastycor, have recently launched in this sector, which is not as lucrative as the mining sector (copper, cobalt, gold, diamonds) that contributes to the wealth of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).