Singapore 2010 Waste Statistics

Singapore 2010 Waste Statistics

The latest 2010 waste statistics and recycling rate for Singapore can be found at the National Environment Agency website. The following infographic gives an overview of the waste figures:

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 2010, about 6.5 million tonnes of waste was generated in Singapore, and each person generated around 1,280 kg of waste in a year. The recycling rate in Singapore for 2010 is 58% and has been increasing steadily over the years. The government has set a target of 60% recycling rate by 2012 in the Singapore Green Plan 2012, and 70% recycling rate by 2030 in the Sustainable Singapore Blueprint.

42% of Singapore’s waste is still disposed of, with 40% 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:

  1. Paper/Cardboard (21%)
  2. Ferrous Metal (18%)
  3. Construction Debris (14%)
  4. Plastics (11%)
  5. Food Waste (10%)

% Composition of Waste Disposed

The top 3 waste types make up 66% of the total waste disposed in Singapore:

  1. Plastics (24%)
  2. Paper/Cardboard (23%)
  3. Food Waste (19%)

% Composition of Waste Recycled

The top 3 waste types make up 74% of the total waste recycled in Singapore:

  1. Ferrous Metal (30%)
  2. Construction Debris (24%)
  3. Paper/Cardboard (20%)

Recycling Rate of Waste

For the 3 common types of waste disposed, their recycling rate is still low:

  • Plastics (11%)
  • Food Waste (16%)
  • Paper/Cardboard (53%)

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 at the waste-to-energy plants.

Waste Statistics from 2000 to 2010

From 2000 to 2010, the waste disposed has only dropped by 1% but the waste recycled has increased by a massive 102%. The total waste generated has increased by 40% from 4.6 million tonnes in 2000 to 6.5 million tonnes in 2010.

The waste data show that the efforts of the government in promoting waste recycling has paid off. However, waste disposed has been increasing slowly since 2003. 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.


  • byanalyn
    Posted June 14, 2011 10:55 pm 0Likes

    just want to know if the stats you showed here are residential or residentiall and industrial. thanks

    • byEugene
      Posted June 22, 2011 11:27 am 0Likes

      Hi analyn, the stats include residential and industrial

  • byMervyn
    Posted July 25, 2011 7:18 pm 0Likes

    Hi do you have the breakdown for the amount for various ferrous and non ferrous metals?

    • byEugene Tay
      Posted July 29, 2011 11:06 am 0Likes

      Hi Mervyn, there’s no public data on the different types of metals, only ferrous and non-ferrous. You would have to check with NEA.

  • byEdris
    Posted December 22, 2011 4:23 am 0Likes

    Hi Eugene,

    Thanks for the stats. Just wondering for the last graph you have there, where did you get the stats from? I tried going to the website you provided below the graph but it doesn’t work.

    By the way, do you know where to obtain pre-2000 waste stats?


  • byTay Ming Teck
    Posted March 26, 2012 5:37 pm 0Likes

    Hi, is there an estimation to how much waste (in kg) was contributed by each residential household per day, and how much was being recycled?

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  • byDaphne
    Posted May 29, 2012 10:36 am 0Likes

    Hi, is there substantial wastage of WATER in households in Singapore over the last few years?

  • byLisa Quek
    Posted August 8, 2012 3:08 pm 0Likes

    @Eugene Tay :
    Hi, I was wondering if there are any statistics on the specific amount of cardboard waste per year, and the specific amount of cardboard recycled/sent to incinerators/ buried at landfills. Any help is much appreciated. Thank you

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