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Singapore Adopts Smarter Waste Management Service

Image credit: www.sembcorp.com/en

Singapore’s Punggol city sector will now be treated to smarter and more sustainable services for public waste collection and recycling under a new contract awarded by the National Environment Agency (NEA) to a waste management service provider.

As part of transformation efforts in the waste management industry, NEA encourages the use of innovative concepts and technologies to improve productivity and sustainability in the collection of refuse and recyclables in public tenders.

The waste management service provider will expand the scale of its digitalisation and automation initiatives to the city-Punggol sector. Technologies with the Internet of Things (IoT) attributes will be used to capture real-time information on the amount of refuse and recyclables collected and generate fault alerts for the provider to carry out corrective maintenance on its refuse storage equipment. This will minimise any inconvenience of faulty equipment to the public.

Also, a new fleet of trucks will be introduced for the collection of refuse, recyclables and garden waste. This includes 14 electric vehicles (EVs), which make up almost 20% of the fleet that will be deployed. The service provider will be rolling out ergonomic trucks for better worker comfort and safety. These trucks are fitted with a two-step low entry cabin which makes getting in and out of the truck much easier and safer for the crew. In addition, three recycling trucks will be fitted with side-loaders, which increase collection efficiency as larger 2,200L side-loader recycling bins will be deployed in HDB estates. The lower number of collection rounds and truck trips enhances productivity and reduces the overall carbon footprint of waste collection services.

A key sustainability initiative for households by the waste management service provider is its ‘ezi’ mobile application with engagement-based programmes to encourage and incentivise household recycling. Residents in the City-Punggol sector can make use of the ‘ezi’ mobile application to locate the nearest Cash-For-Trash stations.  The app also has other features such as tips on recycling, educational games and information on upcoming recyclables collection events.

They will also provide an on-site food waste treatment system at Geylang Serai Market to treat food waste generated there. The centre was selected as it has sufficient space to house the food waste treatment system and generates a sufficiently large quantity of food waste to reap economies of scale. The food waste collected from the premises will be converted into non-potable water, thereby reducing the amount of food waste sent to the incineration plants.

The city-Punggol sector covers the Hougang, Macpherson and Punggol-West Single Member Constituencies (SMC)s, parts of Mountbatten and Potong Pasir SMCs, Sengkang Group Representation Constituency (GRC), and parts of Aljunied, Ang Mo Kio, Jalan Besar, Marine Parade, and Pasir Ris-Punggol GRCs.

There are about 266,800 premises – comprising 250,000 households and 16,800 trade premises which include hawker and market stalls, shops, places of worship, and government buildings.

Households living in HDB flats, condominiums that have not opted out of the public waste collection scheme and landed homes in all sectors of Singapore, will continue paying the same monthly household refuse collection fees of S$8.25 and S$27.47 (both fees inclusive of GST), respectively. The next review will be carried out in the second half of 2021, with fees to be effective for the period from 1 January 2022.

As for trade premises, the waste management service provider will write to business owners to inform them of their new refuse collection fees, which will depend on their daily refuse output. Owners of trade premises can also reach out to the company for queries.

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