WASTE: THE DIRTY TRUTH

Waste – how do we even begin? With a statistic report or a gruesome picture of piles of waste that is multiplying exponentially as we speak? We do not need to do the math to know that billions of tonnes of waste are generated by the world everyday.

Waste in Singapore

Let’s bring it closer to home and take a look at the waste produced not in the entire world, but on our little red dot, Singapore. In 2012 alone, 7.2million tons of waste was generated on our little island, making it an average of 1,370kg of waste produced per person.

Our country has seen an increase of 56% in waste generation from the start of the century (2000) and this is indeed a concerning number for those of us who are trying our very best to be environmentally conscious.

Types of Waste 

Let’s not bore you with numbers and details and take a look at the different types of waste generated in Singapore alone. Listed according to the highest to the lowest percentage in the composition of waste generated:

  1. Ferrous Metals (iron)
  2. Construction Debris
  3. Paper/Cardboard
  4. Plastics
  5. Food Waste
  6. Used Slag (metal refining)
  7. Wood/Timber
  8. Horticultural Waste
  9. Sludge
  10. Textile/Leather
  11. Non-ferrous Metals
  12. Glass
  13. Scrap Tyres
  14. Others

Dealing with Waste 

The dirty truth is, that there is no other way around it. There are only two ways of dealing with waste and that is to either dispose it or recycle it.

Everyone knows the benefits of recycling, but only 60% of Singapore’s waste last year have been recycled and 40% have been disposed. The ideal is to tip the balance and ensure that recycling is as high as possible and disposing as low as possible, and we are still a far cry from that.

The only heartening fact about disposing 40% of our waste is that at least 37% of it is incinerated and goes to one of our four waste-to-energy plants where it is converted and used to produce energy – leaving 3% to be landfilled. We urge everyone to recycle whatever you can and think twice before disposing of anything.

Stay tuned as we take a closer look at food wastage, a topic close to our hearts, in our next post.

Information from zerowastesg.com and Image from foodwasterepublic.com

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