Singapore Waste Statistics 2012
The National Environment Agency has published the latest 2012 waste statistics and recycling rate for Singapore. Here’s an infographic which 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 2012, about 7.3 million tonnes of waste was generated in Singapore, and each person generated around 1,370 kg of waste in a year. The recycling rate in Singapore for 2012 is 60% (59% in 2011), and has been increasing steadily over the years. The government has met its target of 60% recycling rate by 2012 (set in the Singapore Green Plan 2012 published in 2002), and is on track for its recycling target of 65% by 2020 and 70% by 2030 (set in the Sustainable Singapore Blueprint).
40% of Singapore’s waste is still disposed of, with 37.6% going to the waste-to-energy plants for incineration and energy recovery, and 2.7% 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 75% 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:
- Ferrous Metal (19%)
- Construction Debris (18%)
- Paper/Cardboard (17%)
- Plastics (11%)
- Food Waste (10%)
% Composition of Waste Disposed
The top 3 waste types make up 65% of the total waste disposed in Singapore:
- Plastics (25%)
- Food Waste (21%)
- Paper/Cardboard (19%)
% Composition of Waste Recycled
The top 3 waste types make up 76% of the total waste recycled in Singapore:
- Ferrous Metal (31%)
- Construction Debris (30%)
- Paper/Cardboard (16%)
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 (12%)
- Plastics (10%)
- Paper/Cardboard (56%)
More efforts are needed to educate Singaporeans on reducing food waste and the use of plastics, and to increase the recycling of food and plastic waste.
For paper, there is still room for more recycling, as 44% of the paper and cardboard waste generated still ends up being burned at the waste-to-energy plants.
Comparing Recycling Rate of Waste for 2001 and 2012
The recycling rates for different types of waste for 2001 and 2012 are shown in the table below:
Comparing recycling rates for 2001 vs 2012, most of the waste types have shown an improvement in the recycling rate, except for non-ferrous metals and plastics. The recycling rate for non-ferrous metals has dropped from 85% in 2001 to 79% in 2012, however, the recycling rate for non-ferrous metals has always been high in previous years (88% in 2011 and 85% in 2010), so there’s not much of a concern for non-ferrous metals.
On the other hand, the recycling rate for plastics is the same for 2001 and 2012 at 10%, which means there’s not much improvement in plastics recycling over the past 11 years. More effort is needed to educate Singaporeans on reducing the use of plastics and the recycling of plastic waste.
In the Singapore Green Plan 2012 (SGP2012) published in 2002, NEA set a 60% recycling rate by 2012, which it has achieved. NEA also included target recycling rates for the different waste types in SGP2012 (this was not included in the 2006 edition of the SGP2012). Comparing recycling rates for 2012 actual vs 2012 target, the waste types that did not meet the targets include non-ferrous metals, horticultural waste, glass, food waste, and plastics.
Waste Statistics from 2000 to 2012
From 2000 to 2012, the waste disposed has increased by only 5% but the waste recycled has increased by a massive 133%. The total waste generated has increased by 56% from 4.7 million tonnes in 2000 to 7.3 million tonnes in 2012. The waste data show that the efforts of the government in promoting waste recycling has paid off.
Moving forward, food waste and plastics are two waste types that NEA has to pay more attention to, and achieve greater reduction and recycling.