Singapore kickstarts zero-waste plan as recycling ratestalls

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Published: January 13, 2019 1:54:20 PM

The government will publish a master plan in the second half, with grants to support projects, Masagos Zulkifli, minister for environment and water resources, said in a speech on Saturday.

Singapore kickstarts zero-waste plan as recycling ratestalls (Reuters)

Singapore is making a clarion call to citizens and businesses to reduce domestic and industrial waste toward zero as the country’s recycling rate has stalled and its sole landfill may run out of space by 2035.

The government will publish a master plan in the second half, with grants to support projects, Masagos Zulkifli, minister for environment and water resources, said in a speech on Saturday.

“We need a paradigm shift,” Masagos said. “We need to adopt a circular economy approach” where trash can be reused and recycled endlessly, and resources are consumed in a sustainable manner, he said.

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Singapore’s 5.6 million population generated 7.7 million tons of waste in 2017, according to government figures. While the amount of waste fell 1.4 percent, the overall recycling rate was unchanged at 61 percent.

The government sends 200,000 tons of solid waste and ash annually to Semakau, a man-made offshore landfill created in 1999. At that rate, the site may reach capacity before its projected 50-year lifespan.

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