Eugene Tay talks about ZeroWasteSG

Avoiding the Singapore sling

As the Singapore Government has set strict targets for recycling by 2030, ZeroWaste SG is supporting its aims with a range of initiatives to encourage citizens to reduce, reuse and recycle their waste streams.

Singapore has some of the worst household recycling rates of any developed nation. The country generates more than 7.5 million tonnes of waste a year, but has limited avenues for dealing with it. Its only landfill on Pulau Semakau is expected to reach capacity by 2035.

The country’s National Environment Agency (NEA) says its domestic recycling rate was 19 per cent in 2015, way below the likes the United Kingdom and Taiwan, which achieved 44.2 per cent and 42 per cent household recycling rates

Although it does well with commercial waste streams, such as construction and demolition, metals and wood, waste diversion around food, packaging, glass and plastics is poor. For example, only 13 per cent of food waste in Singapore was recycled last year out of 785,500 tonnes generated – a figure that has jumped 50 per cent in a decade.

The Singapore Government has
set targets of achieving a 70 per cent national recycling rate and a 30 per cent domestic recycling rate by 2030. Given the enormity of the task at hand, it cannot achieve this alone.

Responding to the call for help is Zero Waste SG – a not-for-profit organisation dedicated to working with Singapore residents to improve recycling and reduce waste.

It started as a website in 2008, and was officially registered as a non-governmental organisation in July 2015.

“We believe that we can help Singapore to meet and exceed its targets, by working together with government agencies, businesses, community groups and individuals,” says ZeroWaste SG Executive Director, Eugene Tay.

Through its seven online-based programs, Zero Waste SG is promoting education and engagement on the 3Rs – Reduce, Reuse and

Recycle. It is targeting audiences such as individuals and households, as well as bringing businesses and organisations on board with waste minimisation and recycling activities.

To continue reading see page 46 of Issue 8.