Written reply by Ms Grace Fu, Minister for Sustainability and the Environment, to Parliamentary Question on Semakau Landfill, on 2 November 2020
Mr Chua Kheng Wee Louis: To ask the Minister for Sustainability and the Environment (a) how is the 2035 lifespan of Semakau landfill determined; (b) in the past 10 years, how much of the waste generated is domestic waste versus industrial waste and what are their respective growth rates; and (c) what has been the reduction in waste generation since the launch of the Zero Waste Masterplan in 2019.
1 The National Environment Agency (NEA) projects the amount of waste disposed of at Semakau Landfill, which comprises incineration ash and non-incinerable waste. This figure is then compared with the remaining space at Semakau Landfill to estimate its lifespan.
2 Domestic waste comes from households and trade premises, while non-domestic waste comes from commercial and industrial premises. On average for the past 10 years, close to 30% of the waste generated was domestic waste, and the remaining 70% non-domestic waste. In 2019, about 7.2 million tonnes of waste were generated compared to 6.5 million tonnes in 2010, reflecting an average annual growth rate of about 1%. Between 2010 and 2019, domestic waste generation decreased by about 9% while non-domestic waste generation increased by about 20%.
3 2019 was designated as Singapore’s Year Towards Zero Waste. The Zero Waste Masterplan, which was launched in August 2019, maps out our key strategies to adopt a circular economy approach, and targets to reduce the amount of waste we send to Semakau Landfill by 30% by 2030. These include regulatory measures such as Extended Producer Responsibility frameworks, as well as educational and engagement efforts with people, private, and public sector partners, such as the “Say Yes to Waste Less” campaign to discourage the use of disposables.
4 While the Zero Waste Masterplan was produced with a 2030 time horizon, we have seen some initial promising signs in overall waste generation. For example, the rate of growth in waste generation has slowed over the past decade, with absolute reduction in overall waste generated in the last three years from 7.8 million tonnes in 2016 to 7.2 million tonnes in 2019. We will regularly assess the progress and outcomes of our initiatives in the next few years as more data become available.