Singapore 2009 Waste Statistics
The latest 2009 waste statistics and recycling rate for Singapore can be found at the National Environment Agency’s website. An overview of the waste figures can be found in the following infographic:
Waste Generated refers to the total amount of waste generated in Singapore, which is the addition of Waste Disposed and Waste Recycled. Waste Disposed refers to the total amount of waste disposed at the four waste-to-energy or incineration plants, and at the offshore Semakau Landfill. Waste Recycled refers to the total amount of waste that is recycled locally or exported overseas for recycling.
In 2009, about 6.1 million tonnes of waste was generated in Singapore, and each person generated around 1,230 kg of waste. The recycling rate in Singapore for 2009 is 57% and has been increasing steadily over the years. Based on this rate of increase, there should be no problem in reaching the targeted 60% recycling rate by 2012 set in the Singapore Green Plan 2012, and the targeted 70% recycling rate by 2030 set in the Sustainable Singapore Blueprint.
43% of Singapore’s waste is still disposed, with 41% going to the waste-to-energy plants for incineration and energy recovery, and 2% of non-incinerable waste such as construction and demolition waste, used slag and treated sludge, going to the Semakau Landfill for landfilling.
% Composition of Waste Generated
The top 5 waste types make up 74% of the total waste generated in Singapore, which are either disposed of at the waste-to-energy plants and landfill, or recycled locally and exported:
- Paper/Cardboard (20%)
- Construction Debris (19%)
- Ferrous Metal (14%)
- Plastics (11%)
- Food Waste (10%)
% Composition of Waste Disposed
The top 3 waste types make up 68% of the total waste disposed in Singapore:
- Plastics (24%)
- Paper/Cardboard (24%)
- Food Waste (20%)
% Composition of Waste Recycled
The top 3 waste types make up 72% of the total waste recycled in Singapore:
- Construction Debris (33%)
- Ferrous Metal (23%)
- Paper/Cardboard (16%)
Recycling Rate of Waste
For the 3 common types of waste disposed, their recycling rate is still low:
- Plastics (9%)
- Food Waste (13%)
- Paper/Cardboard (48%)
More efforts are needed to reduce the amount of paper, plastics and food waste disposed and to increase their recycling rates. Half of the paper and cardboard waste generated still ends up being burned.
Waste Statistics from 2000 to 2009
From 2000 to 2009, the waste disposed has dropped by 6% and the waste recycled has increased by a massive 88%. However, the total waste generated has increased 31% from 4.6 million tonnes in 2000 to 6.1 million tonnes in 2009.
The waste data show that the efforts of the government in promoting waste minimisation and recycling has paid off. However, to work towards zero waste, there is a need for the total waste generated to reach a peak and decrease every year.
This means that we can’t depend only on high rates of recycling but we also need greater reduction in the waste disposed, in other words, more reduce and reuse of waste. Recycling is still the least effective of the 3 Rs and should be practised last after reduce and reuse.