Written Reply by Ms Grace Fu, Minister for Sustainability and the Environment, to Parliamentary Question on Semakau Landfill
Dr Shahira Abdullah: To ask the Minister for Sustainability and the Environment (a) how much waste is expected to be sent to Semakau landfill every year if the 30% reduction of waste to landfill per capita target is achieved; (b) what is the expected lifespan of Semakau landfill if the 30% reduction of waste to landfill target is achieved; (c) what measures, beyond increasing recycling rates, will be taken to meet the target of 30% reduction of waste to landfill per capita; and (d) what will Singapore do with our incinerated waste after Semakau landfill reaches its full capacity.
1 The target of reducing waste-to-landfill by 30% by 2030 is intended to extend the lifespan of Semakau Landfill till at least 2035. The target translates to a reduction of waste sent to Semakau Landfill each day, from 0.36kg per capita in 2018, to 0.25kg per capita by 2030.
2 The Resource Sustainability Act was enacted in 2019 to impose upstream regulatory measures on the three priority waste streams, namely e-waste, food waste, and packaging waste. One example is the Extended Producer Responsibility scheme for e-waste which was introduced in July 2021, where producers of regulated products are required to pay for the collection and recycling of their products at end-of-life. Such upstream regulations will send economic signals to producers to account for the cost of environmental externalities, and to redesign products to require less materials, last longer, and be more easily recycled.
3 To encourage more people to switch from disposables to reusables, the “Say YES to Waste Less” campaign by the National Environment Agency (NEA) raises awareness of simple everyday actions that the public can adopt to reduce waste. We have also started public consultation on a charging model for disposable carrier bags handed out at supermarkets.
4 We are developing innovative ways to close our waste loop. NEA is conducting trials to turn incineration bottom ash into NEWSand, which can be used as construction material, so as to divert waste away from Semakau Landfill. Together with other initiatives under the Zero Waste Masterplan, we will work towards keeping Semakau Landfill from reaching capacity even beyond 2035.