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Watch How Singapore Builds an Island Made from Trash

It’s nice to know that a country as small as Singapore can maximize (what little) resources they have, and use them to ensure a sustainable and well-maintained society. Famous vlogger, Nas Daily, shares this informational video on how Singapore cleans their trash. The country has even made an island out of it!

See what they’ve done through their solid waste management infrastructure in this short video below:

Video Credit: Nas Daily/Facebook

This can well be described as literally turning garbage into gold. But the important point here is that, even with the little resources you have – such as land as in the case of Singapore, there will always be a way to make the most of every situation. Of course, this can only be achieved through proper planning and good governance well in mind.

A screengrab from the Facebook video posted by NAS Daily

Watch: How Singapore Cleans their Waste and turns it into an Island

Over the years, we’ve seen how Singapore has grown as a nation. Along with it, the demand for resources and the amount of solid waste products steadily rose from 1,260 tonnes per day back in 1970 to its highest to date at 8,559 tonnes per day in 2016.

Starting Small

The nice thing about how Singaporeans deal with their solid waste is that everything starts at households and businesses. Even before solid waste is collected, recyclables have already been segregated for processing to prolong their lifespan. The remaining solid waste is then collected and is delivered to various waste-to-energy plants for incineration. Through this process, the volume of solid waste is greatly reduced (by up to 90%) and this produces steam that powers turbine generators to produce electricity.

The ashes of incinerated solid waste and even the non-incinerable wastes are then sent to the Tuas Marine Transform Station (TMTS) to be deposited at the Semakau landfill.

Image Credit: MEWR.gov.sg

Waste-to-Energy (WTE): The Process

At present, Singapore’s waste disposal infrastructure is composed of four WTE plants:

  • Tuas
  • Senoko
  • Tuas South
  • Keppel Seghers

The solid waste materials, after they have been properly segregated, are sent to the WTE plants for incineration. The process significantly reduces the solid waste volume by 90%. Over the years, this has helped land-scarce Singapore take care of its need for more landfills, thus establishing a sustainable waste management framework.

The Future is Now

And just when you think that ‘sustainable’ has been a simple goal to achieve for the Singaporean government with its successful waste management framework, the National Environment Agency  (NEA) of Singapore is further looking into the establishment of an Integrated Waste Management Facility (IWMF) to make sure that Singapore meets its long-term waste management needs, and to achieve long-term environmental sustainability.

NEA trash island

A screengrab from the Facebook video posted by NAS Daily

Truly, roadblocks such as limited resources and scarce geographic reserves should not stop a country from pursuing what is best for its people, as exemplified by Singapore. And while the results may be attractive on the outside, it’s truly the long arduous process to get there which should be given the real highlight in this kind of accomplishment.



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