Go underground to solve problem of overflowing bins

In many of our crowded places, like Tekka, Chinatown, Orchard Road and shopping malls, most of the rubbish bins are filled to overflowing, especially on weekends.

The odour emitted from these bins can be overpowering and nauseating.

In the Netherlands, which has the best waste management programme in Europe, there are the usual bins on the road. But under the bin, underground, is a larger container that collects the rubbish.

The municipal authorities use truck-mounted cranes with telescopic booms to lift the whole container and clear the rubbish within minutes.

This is very efficient and solves the problem of overflowing bins.

The amount of rubbish thrown away and incinerated in Singapore is large. Our Semakau landfill is projected to run out of space by 2035.

Incineration produces dioxins, which are known to increase the rates of cancer and other health problems.

Thermal treatment, which Germany employs for its waste, can help to reduce dioxin emissions.

Bioreactor landfills, which use superior microbiological processes to speed up waste decomposition, can be used to decompose organic materials.

I hope the National Environment Agency can adopt these methods of collecting and disposing of rubbish so we can have a cleaner and safer environment for our people.

Heng Cho Choon

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 14, 2017, with the headline 'Go underground to solve problem of overflowing bins'. Print Edition | Subscribe