WASTE AND WATER
Combating Waste Emissions
Our overall waste management strategy aims to reduce emissions from waste through the 3Rs (reduce, reuse and recycle), and by incinerating the remaining refuse in waste-to-energy plants. Incineration is preferable to land filling, since the direct burial of waste produces methane, a greenhouse gas.
The Government aims to improve our current recycling rate of 59 per cent to 70 per cent by 2030 by looking into different ways to reduce emissions. This includes the policy of recycling more plastic waste instead of incinerating it.
Singapore’s inaugural Zero Waste Masterplan launched in 2019 further sets target to reduce the amount of waste sent to Semakau Landfill per capita per day by 30 per cent by 2030.
Waste being prepared for incineration at the Keppel Seghers Tuas Waste-to-Energy plant. Besides diverting waste from landfills, incinerating waste also recovers heat energy that is used to produce and supply electricity to homes and factories. (Image courtesy of Keppel Corporation Limited)
Reducing Methane from Wastewater
Singapore will also seek to reduce direct methane emissions from wastewater sludge through incineration. Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation and ECO-Special Waste Management (ECO-SWM) have collaborated on the development of one of Southeast Asia’s largest sludge incineration plants in Singapore.
With an estimated annual average reduction of 129,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide-equivalent (CO2e), the plant has been registered as an emissions reduction project with United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, and will generate carbon credits in Singapore.
Reducing Energy Usage by Desalination
Desalinated water is one of Singapore’s water supply sources, meeting about 10 per cent of the country’s water needs. We have been investing in R&D to improve the energy efficiency of the desalination process. One such project uses electrochemical desalting to reduce energy usage to less than half the volume currently being used by membrane-based desalination methods.
Reducing Waste by Sustainable Waste Management
The Resource Sustainability Act introduced in 2019 gives legislative effect to the regulatory measures to address key priority waste streams of e-waste, food waste and packaging waste. Under the Act, the producers of electrical and electric products, large food waste generators and producers of packaged goods are responsible for the sustainable management of waste from their products at end-of-life and the food waste generated.
World’s First Integrated Waste and Water Treatment Facility
The integrated development of Tuas Water Reclamation Plant and the Integrated Waste Management Facility, jointly known as Tuas Nexus, aims to maximise both energy and resources recovery in solid waste and used water treatment processes. Biogas, produced from the co-digestion of food waste and used water sludge, will be used to generate electricity which will be used for running the energy self-sufficient facility.