The practice and challenges of solid waste management in Singapore

This paper presents an overview of the current solid waste management situation in Singapore and provides a brief discussion of the future challenges. Singapore is a small island city-state with a large population, warm climate and high humidity. Over the past two to three decades, rapid industrialization and economic development have caused a tremendous increase in solid waste generation. The yearly disposed solid waste increased from 0.74 million tonnes in 1972 to 2.80 million tonnes in 2000. Solid waste management in Singapore has traditionally been undertaken by the Ministry of Environment (ENV), with the participation of some private sectors in recent years. The hierarchy of solid waste management in Singapore is waste minimization (reduce, reuse and recycle or so-called 3 Rs), followed by incineration and landfill. As land is extremely scarce and only one newly constructed offshore landfill site is available, solid waste incineration has been identified as the most preferred disposal method. Waste minimization, the utilization of incineration ashes, industrial waste management are regarded to be the major challenges in the future.

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