Premium Bank has provided financial support for the setting up of a waste-compacting and recycling plant at Mallam in Accra. The waste recycling company, Tidyup Company Limited, is a Waste Transfer Station, established to deliver innovation in waste management services in Ghana.
The company is a beneficiary of the ‘Helpstation’, a Small and Medium-Scale (SME) business support and entrepreneurship development initiative of Premium Bank, one of the newest universal banks in the country.
Premium Bank, previously known as City Investment Company (CIC), has over 20 years’ experience in serving SMEs in Ghana. The Helpstation aims at supporting 10,000 SMEs and entrepreneurs in Ghana to build and grow their businesses.
Speaking at the launch, Kwasi Tumi, the Managing Director of Premium bank, said that they decided to provide funds to support Tidyup because of its potential.
“Our paths crossed with Tidyup Ghana Limited, the managers of this Waste Transfer Station less than ten (10) months ago when no bank or financial institution they had approached was willing to take a chance on them. That was understandable because they could not provide financial statements in the conventional manner accustomed to by banks and Financial Institutions and did not have collateral,” Kwasi Tumi explains.
“However,” he went on, “we saw a potential in the business and, leveraging on our experience and expertise, offered what in our opinion was the support needed through our business delivery channel, The Help Station…”
Waste disposal and sanitation is a big problem for the country, especially in the cities so much so that a new Ministry for Sanitation and Water Resources has been established by the government.
Mohammed Awal, the Minister for Business Development agreed that Tidyup’s business model will contribute to address this serious issue.
“…Their [Tidyup Limited] state-of-the-art technology from Germany is providing an innovative way to manage waste disposal in Weija-Gbawe enclave and its surrounding communities. This is a real solution to one of the many problems we face as a society,” Awal said.
The Business Development Minister said his ministry will try to help companies like Tidyup to succeed. “My Ministry, Ministry of Business Development, is also going to ensure that we provide the enabling environment for the successful development of all businesses, most especially those that have successfully passed through the able hands of Premium Bank and the Helpstation,” Awal assured.
Steven Kofi Ampofo, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Tidyup, explained to the audience the rationale for establishing the waste recycling company.
“This project came out of our deep concern to rid our nation of filth,” he says.
“Solid waste management is an expensive venture, especially transportation to the final disposal sites. Final disposal sites nowadays are getting farther away from the sources of generation, and its attendant traffic makes it impossible for waste contractors, especially the ‘Bola’ taxis, the tricycles (Yewo Krom) and the light trucks, to travel those distances. We have provided this facility to enable them increase their collection frequency,” Ampofo added. Ampofo says he was further determined to start this company due to the sheer amount of waste that remains uncollected and unprocessed in the city.
“Solid waste management has over the years been an albatross around the neck of city authorities in Ghana. Accra alone generates about 3000 tons of solid waste per day. Out of this figure, only about 70 percent is collected and this accounts for the heaps of solid waste we see in our cities and towns, mostly near market centers and low-income or densely populated areas…,” he lamented.
To provide the solution, the Tidyup CEO said, “Tidyup is here to change the status quo by turning this enclave into a waste industrial park. We would recycle papers, cardboards, plastics, Styrofoam and convert PET bottles into flakes and mould them back into bottles. We would also recycle glass and use it for sand paper.”
Tidyup was established in October 2005 and is the authorised dealer for Heinz Bergmann e.Kfm (Germany) – manufacturers of waste management machines and Schwarze Industries (USA)-manufacturers of street/runway sweepers for the West Africa sub-region.