As progressive and advanced as Singapore may be, its resources as a nation, are among one of the key areas that it needs to monitor and maximize to the best of its capabilities to protect its nationhood and society in the long run – as in the case of Singapore’s Semakau Landfill, which is the country’s major and only waste management system.
As the Semakau Landfill is estimated to become full by 2035, the Ministry of the Environment and Water Resources (MEWR) has set a new waste reduction target to extend its lifespan.
Gov’t to Cut Down Daily Waste by 30% to Extend Semakau’s Lifespan
The Zero Waste Masterplan, which was launched on Friday (August 30), aims to reduce the waste sent to the landfill each day by 30% by the year 2030, as shared in a report by gov.sg.
The initiative outlines in detail the methods to achieve a 70% overall recycling rate in Singapore by 2030.
The masterplan sets the direction and the means for Singapore to become a sustainable, resource-efficient and climate-resilient nation.
This includes a strategy such as a circular economy approach to waste and resource management practices and shifting towards more sustainable production and consumption. A circular economy is one that maximizes the value of resources by keeping them in use for as long as possible.
Here are some of the steps laid out in the masterplan to achieve its goals:
Extending Semakau’s Lifespan
- Cut down waste produced from 0.36 kg per capita in 2018 to 0.25 kg per capita in 2030.
- This means that every person in Singapore needs to reduce the total amount of waste they dispose of per day to 640g by 2030.
Improving Recycling Rates
- New design for the blue recycling bins located in housing estates
- New labels will come with the newly designed blue bins to better organize waste segregation system.
- Plans to establish local e-waste recycling facilities for large household appliances, household batteries, and lamps.
Better Waste Management
- Legislation will be introduced under the Resource Sustainability Bill stipulating the following targets:
- Mandatory packaging reporting by 2020
- Extended producer responsibility for electronic waste by 2021
- Mandatory food waste segregation treatment by 2024
- Extended producer responsibility for the packaging, including plastics, before 2025
Research and Development
- Ramp up investments in research and development to tackle the mounting problems of climate change and mounting waste through the following research projects:
- Recycle packaging waste — specifically plastic-embedded multilayer films, such as those used to contain potato chips
- Convert debris and waste from the Semakau Landfill into useful materials
These are just some of the immediate plans of the government to address the waste management system in the country, which in all honesty, should also be adopted by every country experiencing the effects of climate change in the world.