The waste management system practiced by Singapore is exemplary and every country should learn from it. By Quoyina Ghosh
3.5 million tonnes — that’s the amount of waste produced in the world in a span of one mere day. This trash ends up in our land, oceans and air — polluting them and the sensitive ecosystem depending on them. Countries are floundering with overflowing landfills and faulty waste management, the water bodies are filled with plastic and the world is heading down a dangerous alley. However, amidst it all, Singapore stands out like a ray of shining hope with a waste management system that every other country should incorporate.
This is a task they achieve with the construction of the world’s first offshore ecological landfill, which doubles up as a tourist attraction with blooming corals and exotic birds visiting it from afar. Yes, the landfill is a tourist attraction! You see, this unique landfill Pulau Semakau, was created by specialists from Singapore’s National Environment Agency (NEA) with a definite ecological goal in mind.
This, they set about to achieve by capitalising on the main idea of converting their trash into ash, which would then be dumped on the island. With the help of four waste-to-energy incineration plants, they first incinerate all the waste, which is then shipped to the landfill inside a covered barge. The water where it’s dumped is divided into cells. Prior to the ash being dumped there, the cells are drained. Once dumped, a soil layer is set so that an ecosystem can thrive.
Later, the water where the ash gets dumped is treated in treatment plants to ensure the quality of water is fit for releasing into the sea. Both the landfill and the water treatment plants are further lined with meticulous care to ensure the prevention of any pollution. A few years back, they further perfected their landfill by the use of recovery operations with which they separated tonnes of metallic remains from the ash produced using separators. This leads to a 10 percent weight reduction of the rubbish.
All of these unparalleled measures have led a thriving environment with lush forests and colourful marine life unlike that of any other place. This landfill, which can hold up to 63 million cubic metres of garbage is projected to be of use to Singapore until 2035. In a world filled with trash in every nook and cranny, Singapore, stands apart with a landfill so incredibly advanced that is often mistaken for a perfect holiday spot!