Friday, May 28, 2010


Working with Zoomlion has been one of the most important parts of my learning experience so far, not only in terms of technical work but also in terms of social and cultural . It was necessary for me Jess and Dave to be properly introduced to the various parts of Zoomlion and get to know all the different departments and their associated managers and officers. As a result a clear and specified work definition of the project we would work was not defined until later on.

Zoomlion's head office consists of the following departments: finance, research and development, operations, communications, transport unit, human resources technical, internal audit, safety and security , monitoring and evaluation and landfill department.

Zoomlion's work expands over a wide variety of areas. They not only provide residential and communal waste pick but they also provide serives regarding beach cleaning, street cleaning, oil spills, waste water collection, Cissept service, beautification and landescaping, forestation and fumigation, janitorial assitance and landfill management. They either do this using their own resources or by hiring private contractors. I had no idea Zoomlion covered such broad areas but now I realize there is a reason why Zoomlion is the leading compnay in the waste management sector.

My work here is tied to the Development and research department of Zoomlion. The R & D department consists of a head supervisor Mr. Meizah, and 5 officers that work on different areas but have the same work status within the department.

The two weeks that I have been here, we have visited three landfills, a number of communical dup sites, spoke with sub office managers and dicussed the challenges, limitation and possible areas which could be improved. In addition we visited Zoomlion's sorting and composting plant which is in its construction stages.

Zoomlion has built a sorting and composting plant, and now they are looking into building a plastic recycling plant. Of course prior to construction, a study on the feasibility of the plastics is required. They are counting the amount of plastic wasted at three final disposal location being mainly landfills. But the data collected from landfills do not indicate the percentage of waste coming from different sources. So we are now looking into residential plastic waste inventory to figure out what percentage of plastics is generated by residences, households. We are distribuiting pastic recycling bins to specific houses and collecting their plastic over a period of seven days and analzying to detemine how much plastic is being produced. Of course the experiment is run for households of low, middle and high class to increase accuracy of the data collected. As part of this experiment we also needed to educate and raise awareness on the topic recycling itself. Althoug most people know what "recycling" is, many ( mainly low and middle class) do not understand what it means when plastic is recycled.

I have learned alot during these past few days. I don't want to say that the path to development is completly different than what I had originally thought, but I was definetly underestimating some factors and influences. I will write about it in my next post because this one has turned out long enough. Hope you all now have a better understanding of what it is I'm doing these days.


  1. So your group is focused on R & D mainly?
    How are people responding to your contribution there? Do you think raising awareness about recycling actually works?
    Keep us updated with your blogs Katayoon jan!

  2. Dear Homaira !

    Yape so all three of us, Me Jess and Dave are working with the research and development department. When it comes to plastic recycling, people are actually very enthusiastic. Even people in poorest regions of Accra think that it is crucial to have plastic recycling.

    I have come across people that associate "recycling" with plastics being re-used but they don't really understand the process that takes place to recycle plastic. They don't really know why some materials are recyclable and some are not. So in that sense, raising awareness is very effective, because there is alot of information that needs to be communicated with citizens to make them aware of the process.

    I definitely think that we have received a lot of attention raising awareness and people's responses have been very good so far.

    But to be fully honest, when it comes to us receiving a lot of attention from the people could have something to do with us being "foreigners". I wonder if people would be just as enthusiastic and willing to participate in the experiment if it was run and promoted by the locals. It's just something that I am thinking about.

    I will certainly get back to you on how successful our experiment turns out.