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Waste minimisation in Singapore

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Introduction

Waste minimisation in Singapore By Anthony Wu Bing, NYPS, 6k (24), 4 May 2009 Since its independence in 1965, Singapore has achieved rapid industrialisation and economic growth. From having a small manufacturing base, producing simple products such as biscuits, soap, canned pineapples etc. today we have built diverse manufacturing industries including chemical industry, electronic industry, bio-medical industry, services industry etc. However, this progress has also brought along with significant waste challenges to us. From 1974 to 2008, our population increased about 2-fold. But our total annual waste disposal increased from 0.5 million tonnes, to a stunning 2.63 million tonnes (see table 1 - NEA Data and Statistics), which is about six times the former. Before 1979, Singapore disposed of all its waste directly in dumping grounds / landfills. To reduce the demand for landfills, Singapore built four incineration plants, which are located at Ulu Pandan, Senoko, Tuas, and Tuas south. The Tuas south incineration plant is one of the largest in the world. Tuas South Incineration Plant However, by 1999, Singapore had completely depleted five large dumping grounds (the Tampines dumping ground, Choa Chu Kang dumping ground, Kok Sek Lin dumping ground, Lim Chu Kang dumping ground and the Lorong Halus dumping ground) ...read more.

Middle

A single individual may not contribute much change. However, if everyone was to practice the three 'R's, our contribution as a whole would be very significant. Schools can also play a part to help reduce waste through educating their students about the environment, the challenges Singapore faces in waste minimization, as well as solutions to reducing waste. For example, schools may arrange for speakers to visit and give presentations about the three 'R's, which everyone can practice. I would also recommend that people should watch this video about waste minimisation and environmental sustainability (http://www.storyofstuff.com/ ) schools may also put recycle bins at places that are frequently visited during big school events, such as Funfairs, Sports Day, etc. Another place to put recycle bins are school canteens so that it would encourage pupils to recycle more drink cartons, bottles, and cans. In my opinion, our society has produced too many disposable products and packaging. For example, instead of having to produce so many bottles of a certain product (like shampoo, cooking oil, etc.), they could make refills of that product, like a pen refill, where it costs less and saves a lot of resources that would have been used to make the whole thing. ...read more.

Conclusion

Although one person cannot contribute much alone, but collectively, we can make a big difference. Table 1 - NEA Data and Statistics Waste Statistics and Recycling Rate for 2008 Waste Type Waste Disposed of (tonne) Total Waste Recycled (tonne) Total Waste Output (tonne) Recycling Rate (%) Food waste 500,000 68,000 568,000 12 Paper/Cardboard 653,900 608,600 1262,500 48 Plastics 623,200 61,200 684,400 9 Construction Debris 22,000 900,000 922,000 98 Wood/Timber* 79,400 190,200 269,600 71 Horticultural* Waste 133,300 96,000 229,300 42 Ferrous Metal 49,800 735,000 784,800 94 Non-ferrous Metals 13,000 72,000 85,000 85 Used Slag 5,700 560,500 566,200 99 Sludge 114,600 0 114,600 0 Glass 47,100 10,000 57,100 18 Textile/Leather 82,300 11,000 93,300 12 Scrap Tyres 3,000 22,100 25,100 88 Others (stones, ceramics & rubber 300,300 8,000 308,300 3 Total: 2,627,600 3,342,600 5,970,200 56 Acknowledgment: First, I would like to thank my mother, who provided me with many websites for me to collect information and for giving suggestions on how I could improve my write-up. Second, I would like to thank my brother, who helped plan my write-up and guided me to create a main structure of it and also giving comments on how to improve my write-up. I would also like to thank my friends, who gave me words of encouragement to help me in my write-up. ...read more.

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