Landfills: Investigating Its Operational Practices in Ghana
International Journal of Energy and Environmental Science
Volume 1, Issue 1, November 2016, Pages: 19-28
Received: Nov. 3, 2016; Accepted: Nov. 22, 2016; Published: Jan. 3, 2017
Views 3842      Downloads 141
Ernest Kusi, Department of Environmental Management and Technology, Koforidua Technical University, Koforidua, Ghana
Ampaw Kofi Nyarko, Department of Energy Systems Engineering, Koforidua Technical University, Koforidua, Ghana
Linda Appiah Boamah, Department of Environmental Management and Technology, Koforidua Technical University, Koforidua, Ghana
Clement Nyamekye, Department of Civil Engineering, Koforidua Technical University, Koforidua, Ghana
Article Tools
Follow on us
The purpose of this study is to explore landfill operational activities in Ghana. Very little studies have been conducted on landfill operational practices in Ghana and this study therefore seeks to bridge that gap to help researchers, policy makers, landfill operators and the general public to improve upon existing landfill management. The types, operational practices and the challenges of the landfill management were the main areas touched upon in this study. Information was obtained mainly by primary sources through questionnaires, interviews and site visits. Additional information was however obtained through secondary sources. Three (3) landfill strategies were identified as final disposal sites for collected Municipal Solid Waste. Kpone engineered landfill, Abokobi controlled dump and Nkanfoa open dump sites were the three main landfill sites that were selected. The study showed landfill sites were found very close to residence, water bodies and highways. 65% - 75% of generated municipal solid waste ended up in landfills. Open dumping was the predominant form of landfill types in Ghana as it was found in most of the communities in municipalities and districts. Result obtained from the study revealed that vehicles and equipment cost are the highest contributor to the operating cost in all the three sites; it ranged between 58.4% -61.9% of the total operating cost. The cost of fuel and lubrication fluids represented about 22% of the total operating cost. Frequent break down of equipment, lack of funds to run a more efficient operation, inaccessible nature of the road during raining seasons and encroachment due to absence of fence, were some of the challenges facing landfill operations in Ghana. Recycling of waste was highly recommended to divert more waste from ending up in landfills, thereby increasing its life span. Metropolitan, Municipalities, District Assemblies and private service providers should be made to follow the basic operational controls and standards in relations to landfills in Ghana as specified in landfill operational guidelines with strict enforcement of the policy by Environmental Protection Agency.
Landfill, Solid Waste, Operational Activities, Waste Reception
To cite this article
Ernest Kusi, Ampaw Kofi Nyarko, Linda Appiah Boamah, Clement Nyamekye, Landfills: Investigating Its Operational Practices in Ghana, International Journal of Energy and Environmental Science. Vol. 1, No. 1, 2016, pp. 19-28. doi: 10.11648/j.ijees.20160101.14
Copyright © 2016 Authors retain the copyright of this article.
This article is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License ( which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Environmetal Protection Agency, (2002). Ghana Landfill Guidelines. Accra: Academic Publishers.
Ivor, J. S and Gordon, C. (2012). Impact of Land Use on River Systems in Ghana. West African Journal of Applied Ecology, 20(3), 83-95.
Agamuthu, P. (2013). Landfilling in developing countries. Journal of Waste Management & Research, 31(1), 1-2.
Schneider, D. R., & Ragossnig, M. (2013). Biofuels from waste. Journal of Waste management & Research, 31 (4) 339-340.
Stedman, R., Hoyer, K. U., & Cosset, R. (2005). Leachate treatment. Proceedings of Tenth International Waste Management and Landfill Symposium.
International Solid Waste Association (2010). International Guidelines for Landfill Evaluation. Industriemagazine Verlag, Austria.
Zhu, D., Sanai, P. U., Zurbrugg, C., Mani, S. (2008). Improving Municipal solid waste management in India. A source book for policy makers and practitioners, The World Bank.
Bilitewski, B. Hardtle, G, Marek, K., Weissbach, A., and Boeddicker, H. (1997). Waste Management. First edition, Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg, Germany.
Riat, A. P. E (2010). Landfill operations to improve installation of cap and gas collection. Methane to markets partnership Expo, New Delhi, India.
UNEP (United Nations Environment Program) (2005). Landfills in Africa. Regional overviews and information sources. International Environmental Technology Centre Newsletters. Global Environment Centre Foundation, Japan.
Calabro, P. S., Moraci, N., Orsi, s and Gewitilli, E. (2007). The effect of mechanical-biological. Pretreatment of municipal waste on a landfill management proceeding Sardinia, Italy.
Reinhart, D. R., Amini, H., Bolyard, S. C. (2012). The role of landfills in US sustainable waste management. Environment engineer: Applied research and practice Vol.15. American Academy of Environmental Engineers, Annapolis, USA.
Kwetey, S., Cobbina, S. J., Asare, Wilhemina, A., Mensah, A., Duwiejuah, A. B. (2014). Household Demand and Willingness to Pay for solid waste management service in Tuobodom in North Techiman- North District, Ghana. American Journal of Environmental Protection, 2(4). 74-78.
Bliss. R. A. (2016). A compact guide to landfill operations: Machinery, management and misconception. Waste management world. Pennwell Publishing, USA.
Hansjorg, O. and Mutz, D. (1994). Guidelines for an appropriate management of domestic sanitary landfill sites. (GTZ) GmbH. Munich, Germany.
Nokyoo, C. (2012). Status and policy on municipal solid waste management for Thailand. Asia pacific workshop on global partnership on waste management. Institute of Global environmental strategies, Japan.
Roberts, A., Horlyck, A., NG, C. and Dever, S. (2013). The importance and value of good landfill planning. Proceedings of Fourteenth International Waste management and Landfill Symposium. Sardinia, Italy.
Macline, C., Del Bel, D., Caselani, C., Sandroni, P., and Macline, V. (2011). Economics of sanitary landfills in Brazil. International Waste Working Group. Sardinia 2011 Proceedings, Italy.
Cointreau, S. (2010). Solid waste management conceptual issues on cost recovery, financial incentives and inter-governmental transfers. Accessed from (10th April, 2013)
Fellner, J., and Brunner, P. H., (2007). Setting priorities for waste management strategies in developing countries. Journal Waste Management and Research, 25, 234-240.
Widman, R. Fixed and movable technics in landfill technology and operations. Lecture notes for Msc. Environmental engineering and management programme, KNOTEN WENMAR, Germany.
Rushbrook, P., and Pugh, M. (1999). Solid waste landfills in Middle and Lower Income countries: a technical guide to planning, design and operation. World Bank technical paper; no. WTP 426 Washington, D. C: The World Bank.
Munawar, E. and Fellner, J. (2013). Guidelines for design and operation of municipal solid waste landfills in Tropical climates. ISWA Working Group on Landfill Report. Industriemagazine Verlag, Austria.
Kraft, E. (2010): Landfill Technology and operations. Lecture notes for Msc. Environmental engineering and management programme, KNOTEN WENMAR.
Couth, R. J and Davies, J. N. (2003). Landfill financing and contracts. Sardinia 2003 Conference Proceedings. IWWG Publication.
Fellner, J. (2005): Landfill strategies as a function of Economic Conditions. Landfill Management Workshop in Syria, Agricultural University of Damascus.
Science Publishing Group
1 Rockefeller Plaza,
10th and 11th Floors,
New York, NY 10020
Tel: (001)347-983-5186