Plastic Recycling &
Community Clean-up Activist

Help the fight against plastic waste by community cleanups, producing ecobricks and creating upcycled products from plastic waste.
Location: Abetifi District, Kwahu Mountains, Eastern Region, Ghana
Availability: Year Round
Price: From $85 per week
1 – 52 weeks



Communities we work alongside

4x cheaper

Than other similar organisations


Volunteer rating

Placement Overview

About the placement

Join the fight against plastic to enhance and improve the local environment. Arranging community cleanups and collection points from a rural waste management service struggling to keep up with demand, producing ecobricks to use in school and community projects such as seating, buildings and greenhouses alongside creating and implementing upcycled items using waste plastics. All whilst joining in on the education campaign side of things to demonstrate and explain to local communities and schools just how damaging the current situation is and why it is so important to reuse and recycle.

Why this placement?

Single use plastics are a major issue in Ghana and across West Africa. With a large part of the population living under the poverty line, companies opt for single use plastics to maintain lower price points. There is also a lack of knowledge and understanding on just how much impact plastics and waste are having on the environment and why it is so important we act now in our fight against plastic waste. The attitudes across the regions are starting to be more environmentally friendly focused with some companies and government schemes highlighting these issues however with everything in Ghana, at it’s current pace it will take a long time before the impact is truly felt and understood in our rural areas.
The plastic waste in question also has a huge impact on a choked waste water system, the towns that are lucky to have gutter systems in our areas are often open and these cause the plastic rubbish to collect, cause blockages and therefore the perfect breeding ground for mosquitos. This then impacts the most vulnerable in the community who don’t have access to mosquito screening etc to the health risks caused by malaria.
Also huge amount of plastic waste building up in the community rubbish dumps along with deforestation is having a massive impact on the health and variety of the local wildlife which then causes in some cases permanent damage to the fragile ecosystems.
After planning with our team and members of the local community we wanted to not only fight this plastic waste but to also produce useful and meaningful items with the waste! With research from partners across the country and Ghana we have setup an ecobrick chain working with local stores to collect the water bottles which in turn we will then use to the items collected in the community cleanups to produce these ecobricks which we will then use for community developement projects such as school buildings, seating and greenhouses to modernise small scale farming.

What is included in this placement?

Support Staff – Accommodation – House Utility Bills – Pre Departure Support

We charge cost price for this project just so we can cover your stay and employ local support staff to increase loyal employment. This placement includes accommodation in a modern style house for the semi rural area of which we are based with great views and surroundings of the local towns and rainforest. All house utilities are included for your time, you will have use of the kitchen, electricity throughout the house and running water which is a luxury among the area of Kwahu. You will have a member of our local support team living in house or close by depending on the volunteer numbers so there is always someone on hand for any questions or support you may need.

How do I get to the placement?

Budget an additional 20 – 60 Ghana cedis per day for transport costs.

We work with a number of schools within the local community and slightly further out. Volunteers will usually take taxis back and forth to their placement site. It is very easy to take shared taxis in town and they are very reasonably priced. Most of our schools will require volunteers to pay transport between 5 cedis and 40 cedis a day, with the average being about 10cedis. The more remote village schools are usually located down tracks and therefore cost a little bit more to reach. Our team will be able to assist volunteers group together for transport and where to find taxis etc. Volunteers are usually able to head off into the town after school easily to shop for food supplies, grab a cold drink or meet up with friends before heading home and the ease of taxis offer a really flexible experience for the volunteers.

What will I be doing?

During your placement you will be scheduling and taking part in community cleanups and litter picks for part of the week. You will then be based in the volunteer accommodation or our workshop space to produce ecobricks and implement these projects where funds allow or help the team create and research items that can be produced and upcycled with the waste material collected. For those of you who also would like to be involved in the community outreach aspect we also arrange assemblies and demonstrations on plastic waste management and how everyone can get involved with the local schools and community groups. The placement is very flexible and the weekly timetable can be adjusted to suit your area of interest and passion along with combining with our other conservational projects across farming and agriculture.

Who will I be working with?

You will usually be working alongside your fellow volunteers, support team or members of the community however for parts of the day you may be required to work independently.

A member of our volunteer support team will also visit you at your placement site periodically after the initial introduction to ensure you are getting on well and making an impact on site.

What do we expect from a volunteer?

All we request is the passion and drive to make a difference with us, one step at a time. Being able to get involved and stuck in will help you much more with this project especially with the community cleanup days which can be tiring in the heat and humidity. The greatest traits of a volunteer are enthusiasm, empathetic and the ability to adjust to alternative cultures. You will get the most of our your trip by opening your mind to new experiences and beliefs whilst also bringing your own to the table.
We expect volunteers to visit their placements Monday – Friday, exceptions can be made for long weekends of travel etc but we hope for the children and yourselves to get the most of your placement this is kept to a minimum.

What can you expect from us?

We will be on hand any time of any day to support you in your placement and trip as a whole. There will always be someone you can speak to or get a hold of should you want to discuss anything or require any guidance, from organising and altering your timetable to changing your placement. Our team living in the volunteer house will also be able to offer advice regarding travel plans and the local area so you will soon feel at home.

What should I bring?

In terms of your placement make sure you bring at least one strong pair of shoes and full length trousers/tracksuit to use whilst on the community clean up days. For people with a passion with upcycling and creating new items we would also advise bringing plans or documents on ideas for this which we then plan to share to local communities or sell online to fund further projects depending on the items. Professional litter picking tools would also be amazing as they’re difficult to source locally.

What happens during school holidays?

Other than for the community outreach and education part of this placement the school holidays will not affect this placement and you will still be able to continue as normal.

Typical working day

  • 07:30am – 08:00am / Volunteer transport leaves the volunteer house to project sites
  • 08:00am – 10:00am / Arrive at workshop and begin daily tasks. Eg, Ecobricking, Sorting plastic types, Shredding or Community cleanup
  • 10:00am – 11:00am / Break
  • 11:00am – 13:00pm / Resuming of placement site work. Eg, Ecobricking, Sorting plastic types, Shredding or Community cleanup
  • 13:00pm – 13:30pm /ย  End of placement and start to travel back to the house to rest and meet up with the other team members
In their free time, volunteers are free to go shopping in the local markets, return to the volunteer house or visit the local swimming pools.
This is just an example day and a flexibility to workload and timings is a crucial skill for a successful volunteer trip. Increasing workload to lengthen your day is possible, you just need to communicate with your in country support team.


What’s Included

Dates & Fees

Program fees

From $85 per week

Click here to view detailed program fees details


1 week minimum – There is no maximum duration and we would suggest staying as long as possible to achieve the biggest social impact possible.


We have volunteers and placements throughout the year, therefore you are welcome to arrive in any month. We are also flexible with being able to arrange airport collections so you are able to arrive on any airline into Kotoka International Airport at any time on any day of the week.

“I spent 3 months in Ghana with Atlas, it was amazing. All the area is very safe and the support from the organization is perfect, “

~ Antoine Burillon / Renovation Volunteer

 I volunteered as a Renovation Volunteer with Atlas Volunteers for 6 weeks from January/February 2019. I discovered Atlas via Volunteer World and was attracted by its various programs and the benefits they bring to the local community in a semi-rural area of Ghana. They are a relatively new charity but are building strong foundations in the areas they work in. They view their social impact as paramount. Overall the experience was fantastic; from achieving and seeing the works progress, chilling with fellow volunteers, traveling up and down the country during time off and just generally experiencing what Ghana has to offer. It was a truly wonderful experience. Atlas and the Ghanaian communities are exceptional hosts. To my fellow volunteers, to the communities I worked in and to the volunteer coordinators and the rest of Atlas โ€“ thank you. This was an experience I will never forget.

– James Thurston / Renovation Volunteer


Apply Now

Submit your details below and a member of the team will be in touch to get you started with the application process.