Singapore 2010 Waste Statistics

May 3, 2011 by  
Filed under Insights

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.