Several Factors are Required for Advanced Integrated Waste Management Systems to Function Properly, Conclude ISWA Experts in Singapore.

On 13-15 November 2019, the Waste Management and Recycling Association of Singapore (WMRAS), co-organised an International Beacon Conference in co-operation with ISWA at the Devan Nair Institute of Employment and Employability, Singapore.

28 Nov 2019 -

The conference was opened by Dr Amy Khor, Senior Minister of State, Ministry of the Environment and Water Resources & Ministry of Health, Singapore, as well as opening addresses from Mr Ho De Leong, Board Member of ISWA - RDN Asia Pacific Rep and Melissa Tan, Chair of WMRAS.


Experts from around the world gathered to share experiences and ideas on a number of topics under the umbrella theme of Sustainable Integrated Waste Management Infrastructure. Several case studies on development, planning and implementation were discussed and shared within this overall theme, but more detailed and focused discussions took place on topics including Circular Economy, Bankability, Feasibility Studies and Governance.


The programme concluded with a session organised by ISWA’s Working Group on Energy Recovery. Amongst the most important conclusions were that a waste management system can only function in a proper and sustainable manner if a completely objective feasibility assessment has been completed, and with the implementation of a range of sorting and collection systems, good governance and mature and appropriate treatment technologies. There are numerous examples of countries skipping the important initial steps and investing in advanced treatment technologies without due consideration. Some such case studies of worst practice were also discussed at the conference.


Furthermore, participants were given the opportunity to learn about the waste management situation in Singapore, a leader in Asia when it comes to sustainable solid waste and resource management. The small city state has reacted to the challenge of a growing population and booming economy which produces roughly 8,559 tonnes of Municipal Solid Waste per day (NEA). Separation and recycling at home is encouraged, and what remains is sent to the various waste-to-energy plants for incineration. Incineration reduces the volume of solid waste by about 90% and produces steam that runs turbine-generators to generate electricity. The incinerated ash and other non-incinerable wastes are then transported to the Tuas Marine Transfer Station (TMTS) for the barging operation to Semakau Landfill where they are disposed of. Plans are underway to increase the treatment capacity, establish an EPR scheme, and most importantly to encourage better consumption and production habits in order to minimise waste production.


Participants were taken on a site visit of the Site Visit to NEWRI, NTU’s Waste to Energy Research Facility. The Research Facility at is based on high temperature slagging gasification technology, and is the first of its kind waste treatment research facility in Singapore. Jointly developed by the National Environment Agency (NEA) and Nanyang Technological University (NTU), it is an initiative under the Energy National Innovation Challenge (ENIC) to explore alternative measures to improve energy and resource recovery in the waste-to-energy domain.

WMRAS will be the host of the 2021 ISWA World Congress in Singapore.

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