Waste is not Waste Provides Online Waste Exchange for Businesses and Organisations in Singapore and Malaysia

December 7, 2010 by  
Filed under Insights

Waste is not Waste

Waste generation in Asia has been increasing rapidly due to urbanisation and industrialisation, and poor waste management in several countries has caused negative impacts on the environment and the health of the people. According to The Global Development Research Center, the waste in Asia is disposed of by 51% open dumping, 31% landfilling, 9% recycling, 5% incineration and 2% open burning. It is clear that more work has to be done to reduce, reuse and recycle waste in Asia.

We believe that waste is not waste, but a potential resource for someone to use again. To tackle the waste problem, we wish to contribute by focusing on ending industrial and commercial waste from businesses and organisations in Asia, starting from Singapore and Malaysia.

There is much scope for businesses and organisations in Asia to reduce and recycle their waste. Waste is usually the last thing on their mind and is something to be thrown away without much thought. With increasing awareness on environmental issues, businesses and organisations are facing pressure from their customers and along the supply chain. They are starting to look at the waste they generate and trying to recycle as much as possible.

By reducing their waste, businesses and organisations also hope to cut costs and be more efficient. However there are some barriers such as lack of time and information to find out the types of waste that can be recycled, and to search for suitable collectors and recycling companies.

Our new initiative, Waste is not Waste, hopes to remove the barriers by providing an online waste exchange that is easy and convenient for businesses and organisations to use, and which helps them reduce, reuse and recycle waste. We connect businesses and organisations that generate waste materials with those who want the materials, thus helping both parties save time and money while helping the environment.

Visit our new beta version of Waste is not Waste to learn more about us, the benefits and how it works. Remember that waste is not waste, but potential resources to be used again.

Conduct a Waste Audit

December 8, 2008 by  
Filed under Reduce

If your company or organisation wishes to reduce the waste generated from your premises, you can first conduct a waste audit.

A waste audit involves finding out the type and quantity of waste generated, and how the waste are generated and disposed. This audit would help you to identify the problems and opportunities for waste reduction.

How to Conduct a Waste Audit

You can conduct a simple waste audit by:

  • Sorting the waste in the waste bins to find out the waste type and quantity
  • Checking the material purchasing records and waste disposal records to learn where the waste comes from and where it ends up
  • Walking around the site and checking with the staff to identify where and how the waste are generated

With the data collected from the waste audit, you can identify the major waste types and find ways to reduce them at the source of generation or divert them from disposal through reuse and recycling.

Check with your suppliers and see whether there are opportunities to reduce their packaging or take back the packaging for reuse. You can also find out whether some of the waste can be given to someone who wants it or whether it can be sent for recycling. What is considered as waste to your company might become a resource for another company.

To find a recycling collector or someone who wants your waste, check out NEA’s list of collectors and traders.

If You Need Help

Green Future Solutions provides consultancy services to help companies and organisations introduce an effective and sustainable recycling programme in the office. The scope of the recycling programme includes:

  • Conduct a waste audit to establish baseline
  • Source for recycling collectors and bins
  • Educate staff on waste minimisation and recycling programme
  • Monitor and review the programme

Guidebook on Waste Minimisation for Industries

The National Environment Agency (NEA) has published a Guidebook on Waste Minimisation for Industries to help companies reduce their waste and practise recycling. The guidebook contains information on how to conduct a waste audit, and also how to introduce a waste minimisation programme through tips and case studies. Visit the NEA website to download the guidebook.

Conduct a Waste Audit for Your Home

You can also follow the same steps above to conduct a simple waste audit for your home. Find out the waste types from your dustbin and try to find ways to minimise them. Can you reduce the waste by not buying them in the first place? Can you reuse the waste for another purpose? Can you recycle the waste?

Don’t Waste Food

December 8, 2008 by  
Filed under Reduce

Singaporeans waste a lot of food each year. In 2013, we threw away about 0.8 million tonnes of food waste and only 13% was recycled. We should not waste food and let’s try to find ways to reduce food wastage in our homes, for our events and for companies that produce food products.

Here’s a few tips:

For Homes

Before cooking, confirm the amount of food needed and plan the type of food to be cooked and how to cook the food. This helps you to prevent excessive food wastage.

You can also refer to the food storage chart from the AVA website to check some guidelines on how long you can keep your food in the refrigerator. By keeping to the food storage duration and temperature, you can reduce food spoilage.

For Events

Confirm the number of participants attending the event and their dietary requirements. This would help you to prepare or order the right amount of food. It might also be good to cater slightly less food (about 10 to 20 percent) than required so as to avoid unnecessary wastage.

Arrange for any leftover food to be given to the venue staff, event organiser or donate it to a charity. The leftover food should not be wasted.

For Food Companies

If your company has unsold or soon-to-be expired food products, you can sell them at a cheaper price before the expiry date to clear stock or donate the food products to schools, charitable organisations or anyone who wants them before the expiry date.

You can also contact the following organisations:

A local non-profit organisation, Food from the Heart, collects unsold bread and pastries from bakeries and hotels and distributes them to welfare organisations, needy families and individuals.

Food Bank Singapore collects excess or unwanted food from food companies, retailers and home consumers, and distributes them to the needy.

More Tips

Also check out more tips on reducing food waste from the Save Food Cut Waste campaign.

Start Recycling at Work

December 8, 2008 by  
Filed under Recycle

office recycling bins

If your company or organisation already has a recycling programme, that’s good and you can recycle at work. If not, it’s time to start one now. Just follow our 6 steps to minimise waste and start recycling at work.

First, you would need to form a team and get commitment from your management and colleagues. Conduct a waste audit and find ways to minimise waste through reduce and reuse. Next, start a recycling programme and educate your staff on how to recycle. Finally, remember to gather feedback, review and improve your recycling programme.

1. Get Commitment and Form a Team

Highlight the benefits of waste minimisation and recycling to your management and colleagues, and get their commitment and support. Form a team to be in-charge of the waste minimisation and recycling programme, and ensure that resources are allocated to implement the programme.

2. Conduct a Waste Audit

A waste audit involves finding out the type and quantity of waste generated, and how the waste are generated and disposed. This audit would help you to identify the problems and opportunities for waste reduction. Learn how to conduct a waste audit.

3. Minimise Waste Through Reduce and Reuse

Based on the waste audit, identify the major waste types and find ways to minimise the waste generation. Reduce them at the source of generation or divert them from disposal through reuse. Refer to our Reduce and Reuse categories for ideas.

4. Set Up a Recycling Programme

After your waste minimisation efforts, identify the remaining waste that can be recycled. Find a recycling contractor to provide recycling bins and collection services. First, you can approach your current waste contractor and check whether they can provide recycling services.

For commercial buildings and industrial estates with recycling programmes, recycling bins or skips are usually placed at certain locations and the recyclables are collected by the recycling contractor.

To find a recycling collector or someone who wants your waste, check out NEA’s list of collectors and traders, or you can use the online business waste exchange, Waste is not Waste, to find someone who wants your waste.

5. Educate Staff on How to Recycle

Educate staff on the new recycling programme – the location of recycling bins, what can be recycled, and where the recyclables end up. The education could be conducted through events, talks and through posters.

6. Review and Improve

Gather feedback about the recycling programme from the staff and conduct checks on the recycling bins to ensure that the correct items are recycled. Monitor the amount of waste generated and recycled. Adjust and improve the recycling programme if necessary.

If You Need Help

Green Future Solutions provides consultancy services to help companies and organisations introduce an effective and sustainable recycling programme in their office. The scope of the recycling programme includes:

  • Conduct a waste audit to establish baseline
  • Source for recycling collectors and bins
  • Educate staff on waste minimisation and recycling programme
  • Monitor and review the programme

Paper Recycling

December 8, 2008 by  
Filed under Recycle

Paper is one of the most common types of waste in Singapore and 1.26 million tonnes of paper waste was generated in 2013. The recycling rate of paper is 54% in 2013, and most of this paper waste is sorted, baled and exported overseas for recycling as there are no paper recycling mills in Singapore.

Let’s take a closer look at paper recycling:

1. Types of Paper for Recycling

The different types of paper waste are collected and usually separated into the following categories for recycling.

  • Newspapers
  • Corrugated cardboard
  • Magazines
  • White office paper
  • Mixed paper

2. Why Recycle Paper

There are environmental benefits to paper recycling. According to Waste Online:

Producing recycled paper involves between 28 – 70% less energy consumption than virgin paper and uses less water. This is because most of the energy used in papermaking is the pulping needed to turn wood into paper.

Recycled paper produces fewer polluting emissions to air (95% of air pollution) and water. Recycled paper is not usually re-bleached and where it is, oxygen rather than chlorine is usually used. This reduces the amount of dioxins which are released into the environment as a by-product of the chlorine bleaching processes.

3. The Paper Recycling Process

At the paper recycling plant, sorted paper goes into a pulper where they are washed and screened to remove unwanted items like metals and plastics. The paper pulp then undergoes a floatation process to remove inks and adhesives. The resulting paper slurry is spread on wire meshes and drained of water using rollers to form sheets of paper.

Watch this animation video on the paper recycling process from RecycleBank:

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qWH1Mg8gdic[/youtube]

 

4. Recycled Paper Products

Paper waste such as white office paper, corrugated cartons and newspapers can be recycled back to its original use. Magazines, mixed paper, newspapers and corrugated cartons are recycled as cardboards, toilet papers, paper towels, egg cartons, kraft paper, etc.

Watch how toilet paper is made from recycled paper:

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wrg_6dny6Po[/youtube]

5. Paper Recycling in Singapore

In Singapore, about 1.26 million tonnes of paper waste was generated in 2013 and the recycling rate is 54%. Paper waste is usually collected through the recycling programmes and traditionally by the karang guni men, waste paper collectors and traders.

The paper waste are sorted by type, baled or placed in containers, and exported overseas for recycling as there are no paper recycling mills in Singapore.

6. Collectors, Traders and Recycling Companies for Paper

To find a recycling collector or someone who wants your paper waste, check out NEA’s list of collectors and traders.

For companies, you can use the online business waste exchange, Waste is not Waste, to find someone who wants your waste.

7. What Can I Do

You can recycle paper through the various recycling programmes at home, in school and your office, or through the public recycling bins. But before you do so, remember to Reduce and Reuse your paper waste.

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