Incineration is necessary for Singapore as land is limited. Incineration is able to reduce the volume of our waste to as little as 10 per cent of its original volume. This results in lower waste volumes being sent to our landfill.
However, as ash from incinerated waste eventually has to go into our landfill and we have only one landfill, incineration alone cannot deal with the ever-increasing amount of waste that we are producing.
Incineration plants are very expensive to build and operate. They also take up large areas of land.
We cannot keep building more incineration plants indefinitely.
Pollutants, such as NOx, SO2, dioxin and particulate matter, are produced in the process of incineration and they affect our air quality.
The Government increased private sector participation in the incineration industry. Singapore’s fifth incineration plant was built and operated by a private company through a Design, Build, Own and Operate arrangement
All incinerators in Singapore have been fitted or built with pollution control equipment to protect our air quality. The flue gas produced during incineration is treated to remove most of the pollutants in order to meet safe environmental standards before being released into the air.
NEA has been encouraging people and industries to reduce their waste, reuse where possible and increase their rate of recycling.
Recycling rates have gone up and around 39% of all waste was incinerated in 2011, down from 51% in 2001. The reduction of waste and increase in recycling will also help to delay the building of new incineration plants. Instead of building one every 5-7 years, we can build one every 8-10 years.
After the success of developing the use of incinerated bottom ash (IBA) for road material, NEA will continue to explore other uses for treated ash so as to extend the lifespan of our sole remaining landfill, Semakau.
Keeping our land clean by managing our solid and hazardous waste well.