Waste Management

A large quantity of municipal waste is generated in Singapore daily. A total of 2.63 million tonnes of waste was generated in 2008[1]. Out of this, about 7% of the refuse is dumped in our landfills every year, while the rest is incinerated. Most of our waste is landfilled at Pulau Semakau. However, disposing waste via landfills and incineration is neither economically nor environmentally sustainable. The root solution to the problem of waste management is simply to minimise the amount of waste we generate. Consumerism, excess packaging, wasteful habits and neglect all contribute to the waste problem, and the three key ways to tackle it are by reducing the amount of waste we generate, reusing or re-purposing items that we would otherwise throw away, and by segregating and recycling our waste diligently.

Tips to reduce consumption and waste

At Home

  • Use recycled products wherever possible, such as recycled toilet paper.
  • Sort and recycle your garbage.
  • Donate your unwanted and reusable items to a charity of a thrift shop.
  • Start a composting bin in your backyard to decompose food and/or organic scraps.
  • Buy your groceries in bulk as that will use less packaging.
  • Bring your own reusable bag when you go shopping, to reduce the number of plastic bags used.
  • For special celebrations, send e-cards and e-invites instead paper invitation and gift cards.
  • When decorating for the holidays, use natural materials or decorations saved from the previous years.
  • Instead of buying new books and worrying about storage space, borrow books from your local library.


At Work

  • Pack your own healthy lunch instead of takeaways or packaged convenience food. Get yourself some sturdy containers of various sizes to cater for different treats everyday.
  • Eliminate the use of disposables in office functions and events.
  • Purchase recycled paper for printing. Do not print unnecessarily, and print on both sides of the page whenever possible. Re-use misprinted or one-sided paper for scribbling messages or random ideas in the office.
  • If you office is planning to upgrade the furniture, you can donate the used furniture (which is still in good condition) to a charitable organisation.
  • When purchasing furniture for the office, opt for pieces which are not made of composite materials and are easy to assemble and disassemble to increase the ease of recyclability at the end of their useful lives.
  • Implement a recycling system in the office. Set up recycling corners or boxes for paper waste, plastics, glass, etc.


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