How does “Garden City” Singapore handle their domestic waste?

Singapore’s land resources are extremely scarce,

In this place where inch of land worth a gold

How do they deal with domestic garbage produced in the country?


Singapore is known as the “garden city” in the world. With the population growth and the increasing amount of household garbage, how to properly dispose of garbage is an important issue facing the city of Singapore.


Singapore garbage sorting is all about voluntary?

In Singapore, it is famous for its strict laws and regulations. It is clear that the rewards and punishments can be clearly defined: its have clear and severe punishment for walking on the street, littering, smoking ban, eating at subway… But there is no punishment for the classification of garbage, and everything depends on voluntariness. Even the so-called classification is simply a combination of recyclables and non-recyclables.


Is this possible?

The answer given by the Singapore National Environment Agency was very simple: they don’t want to increase the residents’ obligations through garbage sorting and hope that everyone can take the initiative to do environmental protection, and for their own home. Despite this, the Singapore government has tried their best in reducing the amount of garbage. In Singapore, the garbage disposal is based on the “3R principle”, which is Reduce, Reuse and Recycle, including reducing the generation of garbage from the source and recycling the garbage as much as possible.

How to deal with domestic garbage produced in the country?

In order to solve this problem, the government thought of various methods. Finally, they build an actual ‘island’ which is the world’s first ecological offshore landfill. This island has even become a popular tourist attraction; thislandfillis specially designed by engineers and environmentalists from Singapore’s National Environment Agency (NEA).


Singapore has a population of about 5.61 million. On average, the country produces about 0.86 kilograms of garbage per person per day. This garbage are disposed and transported to a marine dump. The Semakau Landfill is Singapore’s first and only landfill situated offshore among the southern islands of Singapore. It covers a total area of 3.5 square kilometers and has a capacity of 63 million m³. To create the required landfill space, a 7km perimeter rockbundwas built to enclose a part of the sea between Pulau Semakau andPulau Sakeng. The solid waste materials, after they have been properly segregated, are sent to the WTE plants for incineration.

How does it work?

The amount of garbage produced in Singapore is about 17,000 tons per day, of which 56% is recycled. Garbage that cannot be recycled is shipped for incineration, and non-combustible materials are land filled. There are currently four garbage disposal infrastructure is composed with an incineration capacity of 6,900 tons per day. After incineration, 1,600 tons of ash will be produced and will be transported to the shore of Pulau Semakau for landfill.


The incineration time is about 45 minutes to 90 minutes. The heat generated by incineration will be recovered and generated, of which 20% will be used by the factory and the remaining 80% will be integrated into the grid. This power can meet the electricity demand of 3% of Singapore. The volume of garbage after incineration is reduced by 90%, and garbage ash and incombustible garbage are collected.


In Singapore, the environment around the waste incineration has not been destroyed, and Singapore’s landfill technology is also worth learning. Pulau Semakau is a man-made island filled with garbage. Under this artificial island is like a park, nearly 10 million tons of burnt waste is buried. Due to the success of environmental protection, it has become a popular tourist attraction.


Don’t live up to the ‘Garden City’ reputation! ! !

Singapore is not the first country to use land reclamation to dispose garbage. Unlike other places, the operation mode on Singapore’s Pulau Sakeng andPulau Semakau is to build land for garbage while building eco-tourism. More information on environmentally relevant research and ecological related content is displayed on the island, attracting many famous tourists and researchers. Thanks to the successful solution to the problem of solid waste disposal in all countries of the world, Pulau Semakau has received praise from all parties. The Singapore National Environmental Protection Agency estimates that the Pulau Semakau Landfill can be used at least until 2045.