Singapore has designated 2019 as the Year Towards Zero Waste. We are working towards becoming a zero waste nation by reducing our consumption of materials, and reusing and recycling them to give them a second lease of life.
In Singapore, waste disposed has increased seven-fold over the past 40 years. About 7.7 million tonnes of waste was generated in 2017. This amount is enough to fill 15,000 Olympic-size swimming pools!
Where does our waste go?
Everyday, about 79% of our domestic waste generated will be incinerated at one of our four waste-to-energy (WTE) incineration plants. However, the more waste we incinerate, the higher our carbon footprint - this contributes to global warming and climate change.
The resulting incinerated ash as well as other non-incinerable waste will then make their way to Semakau Landfill.
Semakau Landfill is Singapore’s one and only landfill. It receives more than 2,000 tonnes of WTE incineration ash and non-
incinerable waste daily.
At our current rate of waste growth, Semakau Landfill will run out of space by 2035.
It is estimated that a new waste-to-energy incineration plant will be needed every 7 to 10 years and a new offshore landfill will be needed every 30 to 35 years. This is unsustainable in land scarce Singapore.
Read more about Semakau Landfill
How will we achieve our Zero Waste vision?
Singapore will adopt a circular economy approach to sustainable waste and resource management. We will strive to close the waste loop, just like how we have closed the water loop by recycling water endlessly.
Improved infrastructure to facilitate recycling, such as dual chutes for refuse and recyclables in all new HDB flats and new non-landed private residential developments above four storeys
Pneumatic Waste Conveyance Systems introduced in HDB towns and on a district-level to optimise waste and collect and support hygienic waste disposal
Development of Tuas Nexus a co-located integrated waste management and water reclaimation facility
Introduction of Extended Producer Responsibility Framework for e-waste management by 2021
Implementation of mandatory reporting of packaging data and packaging waste reduction plans in 2020
- Support the wider use of on-site food waste digesters at commercial premises and hawker centres
- Explore the reuse of incineration bottom ash to extend the lifespan of Semakau Landfill
Zero Waste Masterplan
We will be publishing an inaugural Zero Waste Masterplan this year to raise awareness of waste issues in Singapore and articulate the government’s efforts to adopt a circular economy approach to sustainable waste and resource management.
The Masterplan will detail the key policies and strategies that the government will be implementing in the next few years, supported by industry transformation and research and development.