Singapore Waste Statistics 2011

March 27, 2012 by  
Filed under Insights

The latest 2011 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 2011, about 6.9 million tonnes of waste was generated in Singapore, and each person generated around 1,330 kg of waste in a year. The recycling rate in Singapore for 2011 is 59% (58% in 2010), 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.

41% of Singapore’s waste is still disposed of, with 38% going to the waste-to-energy plants for incineration and energy recovery, and 3% 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 76% 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 (20%)
  2. Ferrous Metal (18%)
  3. Construction Debris (17%)
  4. Plastics (11%)
  5. Food Waste (10%)

% Composition of Waste Disposed

The top 3 waste types make up 65% of the total waste disposed in Singapore:

  1. Plastics (23%)
  2. Food Waste (21%)
  3. Paper/Cardboard (21%)

% Composition of Waste Recycled

The top 3 waste types make up 77% of the total waste recycled in Singapore:

  1. Construction Debris (29%)
  2. Ferrous Metal (29%)
  3. Paper/Cardboard (19%)

Recycling Rate of Waste

For the 3 common types of waste disposed, the recycling rate for plastics and food waste is still low:

  • Food Waste (10%)
  • Plastics (11%)
  • Paper/Cardboard (56%)

More efforts are needed to reduce the amount of plastics and food waste disposed and to increase their recycling rates. The recycling rate for plastics in 2011 is the same as 2010, and more can be done to educate Singaporeans on reducing the use of plastics and the recycling of plastic waste. The National Environment Agency (NEA) is likely to miss the target of 35% recycling rate for plastics by 2012, set in the Singapore Green Plan 2012.

The recycling rate for food waste has dropped from 16% in 2010 to 10% in 2011. This is likely due to the closing down of IUT Global last year, which was recycling food waste into biogas and compost. There is currently no news of the setting up of new food waste recycling plants, nor is there any food waste reduction campaign by the NEA. Without any concrete plans to reduce or recycle food waste, the food waste recycling rate would remain low over the next few years, and NEA is likely to miss the target of 30% recycling rate for food waste by 2012, set in the Singapore Green Plan 2012.

For paper, the recycling rate is 56% in 2011. NEA has met the target of 55% recycling rate for paper by 2012, set in the Singapore Green Plan 2012. Nevertheless, there is still room to recycle more paper, as 44% of the paper and cardboard waste generated still ends up being burned at the waste-to-energy plants.

Waste Statistics from 2000 to 2011

From 2000 to 2011, the waste disposed has increased by only 2% but the waste recycled has increased by a massive 117%. The total waste generated has increased by 48% from 4.6 million tonnes in 2000 to 6.9 million tonnes in 2011.

The waste data show that the efforts of the government in promoting waste recycling has paid off. However, waste generated has been increasing steadily 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.

Read the latest Singapore Waste Statistics 2012

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44 Responses to “Singapore Waste Statistics 2011”
  1. Shimin says:

    I’m currently doing a project targeting furniture waste. Is is possible to determine how much furniture wastage contributes to the total waste? (probably the sum of all its different parts combined? timber, metal, leather, ect.)

  2. Deborah says:

    Hi, do you know the statistics for CD wastage in Singapore? What category are they classified under? Thanks!

  3. Jair says:

    My group’s doing a project on fruit peel waste, do you have any statistics for it relating to it?
    thank you(:

  4. Hello Eugene,

    I am looking for statistics on how much used apparels/clothing is thrown by people in singapore every year.

    It will be great if you have any information on this.

  5. Bala says:

    Hi Eugene, We manufacture small Computers. These are small devices without moving parts such as Fans, HDD, ODD, FDD and such. They have a Chassis, Motherboard, RAM & Flash Memory. Power Supply is built-in some models and for some models it is an External adapter. We have a need to submit them (End of Life products, which can no longer be used) as e-waste for destruction. We must get & keep a certificate or sure proof of destruction. Who should I approach?

  6. toshimitsu says:

    is it possible to get specific data like the number of plastic bottle wasted in singapore in 2011?

  7. Malanie says:

    Hello, is it possible to get statistics of styrofoam disposed in Singapore in 2011 and 2010?

  8. Daphne says:

    hello, is it possible to get any form of statistics on the water wastage in Singapore?

  9. Hansel says:

    Hello! I’m a student at JC level who wants to propose a way to save books/magazines from being thrown away(and hence paper!) and i was wondering if you would have any info on where i might obtain stats of the amount of such reading materials being thrown away in singapore? Very informative article btw! Thanks!

  10. Ashlee says:

    Hi Eugene, this is a very well-written article. I would also like to know if there are any statistics at all regarding the wastage of fruit peels in singapore. Hope to receive a favorable reply! Thank you.

  11. Qi Xuan says:

    hi eugene, im a JC student doing a project on plastic wastage. can i find out the proportion of plastics that can be recycled but are not?

  12. Qi Xuan says:

    hi eugene, im a JC student doing a project on plastic wastage. can i find out the proportion of plastics that can be recycled but are not?

  13. Qi Xuan says:

    Hi eugene, thank you for the reference. it has helped us a lot. i have another question. where can i find the proportion of plastic bottles being used by households in singapore? thanks a lot!

  14. Ferlyn says:

    Hi, I would like to know if chipboard wastage is significant in Singapore? Chipboard referring to the cardboard behind foolscap pads. Thanks a lot!

  15. Kia Weng says:

    Hello Eugene, I’d like to find out how did you get the information for the year on year graph of waste statistics? I’m currently doing a project on waste management in Singapore and I’d appreciate any information you can provide. Thanks!

    • Eugene Tay says:

      @Kia Weng, NEA used to publish the data for the different years on their website, now NEA only publish the previous year data. You can still find out the data for different years through the annual reports by NEA, or just ask NEA for the data.

  16. Ken says:

    Hi Eugene, very appreciative to these summaries of waste data. I wish to enquire if you know the amount of ferrous waste metal in the Construction and Demolition debris.

    For example, year 2011 saw a total of 1,172,711 tonnes of construction debris. In this amount, how many comprise of ferrous metal waste? I read an article from BCA that about 8% – 9% of construction debris consist ferrous waste metal. However, I feel that this figure is too small, considering the high number of demolition and construction projects going on.

  17. becca says:

    hello eugene do you have any idea on how much of the paper waste is by offices and/or schools?

  18. SamuelD says:

    I was wondering, what happened to the recycling initiative with hotels and malls? The 70% target by 2015. Do we have any stats how far this has progressed since it was announced in 2011 by the NEA?

  19. office recycling says:

    I’m trying to encourage people in my office (we are in the city area) to recycle shredded paper, and also, aim is to get everyone in the buildings nearby to start recycling too.

    Problem is I do not know where to start, and also, whom I should approach for recycling paper collection.

    Please help

  20. Robert Loughney says:

    You indicate that waste exports are included in the recycle total. Could you tell me how many tonnes were exported in 2011 and how has the tonnage changed over the last ten years? Also what kind of material is this that is being exported?

  21. Nab AR says:

    Hello Eugene. Thank you very much for making the infographics. It has helped me a lot with my project.

    I was wondering if the waste composition is classified into different categories, e.g. domestic waste, municipal waste, etc? If it is, which waste types would be classified under which category?

    Thank you!

    • Eugene Tay says:

      @Nab AR, the waste figures include domestic, trade, industrial and commercial waste, and are not classified into different categories.

  22. Hello Eugene and Dear All,

    Does anyone know of a battery recycling program in Singapore beside the one existing at the LFS (French School)? The latter holds a battery recycling contained on site and I am enquiring about where their are shipping it [carbon footprint] and how often. I will post my findings.

    Thank you!


  23. Ken says:

    Eugene. I was viewing on the Greenpeace site that Singapore receives eWaste from Euorpe and USA. Why and What does Singapore do with it.

  24. Ken says:

    Hello Eugene, can you suggest some source. I looked at NEA site but no info. I am trying to help my daughter with JC1 project paper. Your site has provided some very good data and references. Thanks.


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