Circular Economy



Circular Economy


Waste To Infrastructure In Kumasi

Engineers Without Borders-Netherlands is providing engineering expertise to our local partner, Trash Smart aiming to scale up its existing plastic waste management business from plastic waste collection to mechanical recycling into construction materials.

EWB-NL is partnering with Temporary Works Design, The Great Plastic Bake Off to develop; a sustainable business model; software for value chain optimization; methods and equipment to enhance construction efficiency; recycling technology for brick production; architectural and structural design for pilot construction project.

The pilot project seeks to assist a school in dire need of a washroom by utilizing recycled plastic bricks for the washroom construction. The lack of washroom in the school affects students and teachers’ attendance especially female students due to lack of sanitary hygiene facilities. This culminates in the low enrollment of female students and overall poor performance of students.

Ghana produces 1.1 million tonnes of plastic waste annually with only 5% currently recycled.


Plastic waste pollution is a serious challenge globally having a detrimental effect on the environment, society and health. Ghana produces 1.1 million tonnes of plastic waste annually with only 5% currently recycled. Many municipalities lack the means to sufficiently recycle plastic waste and as a result, plastic waste litters communities as locals are forced to dispose of waste where they can with plastics ending up in the streets, the countryside and most alarmingly, waterways. A significant portion of the plastic waste end up in the ocean harming marine life, while litters remain in the drainage systems causing blockages. This blockage prevents water flow serving as breeding habitats of mosquitoes which spread malaria, a disease which endangering millions across sub-Sahara Africa.

There are two parts to the problem which this project seeks to solve; first is to improve the efficiency and operations of collection, pretreatment, and brick production by our local partner; and second is to build a washroom from recycled plastic bricks for the school.

Waste to infrastructure plastic collection team


The project goals are:

  • Develop a sustainable business model
  • Enhance the capacity of local partner to collect waste through value chain optimization
    using software.
  • Support scale up plans with container-based mobile recycling technology
  • Provide architectural and structural designs for the pilot project
  • Develop methods and equipment to improve construction efficiency
  • Build capacity and skills for business sustainability

The project is linked to the following Sustainable Development Goals:

Goal 1: No Poverty
Creating employment opportunities for mostly women who are involved in the collection and cleaning of the plastic waste will improve household income.

Goal 3: Good Health and Well-being
Plastic waste encourage the breeding of disease vectors such as mosquitoes which cause malaria one of the major causes of death in the regions. The absence of WASH facilities in schools leads to the increase of diahreal diseases.

Goal 4: Quality Education
The lack of WASH facilities results in truancy among students and teachers, low enrolment of the girl child. Having a WASH facility will improve the quality of education in the local community.

Goal 8: Decent Work and Economic Growth
Improvement of WASH, access to education and increased well-being leads to improved economic growth in the society.

Goal 9: Industry Innovation and Infrastructure
Fabrication of equipment, training of local artisans and construction of infrastructure.

Goal 11: Sustainable Cities and Communities
Proper waste management leads to a circular sustainable community.

Goal 13: Climate Action
Cement is one of the major sources of GHG emissions and replacing it with plastic waste for construction purposes will aid in the decarbonization of the construction industry.

Goal 14: Life Below Water
Recycling plastic waste will minimize the influx of plastics into the ocean.


We require funding for the washroom construction and a motorized solar borehole.


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