Implement garbage disposal system to recycle food waste

Mr Edward Lim Yew Sih's recommendation that the old practice of setting aside household food waste as animal feed be brought back is interesting ("Bring back eco-friendly way of managing food waste"; last Thursday).

However, this ingenious method of converting food waste into food for animals is no longer plausible, as the last pig farm in Punggol closed down in 1990 because of pollution to the waterways and the overall environment.

As for chicken farms, not all kitchen scraps are suitable as chicken feed, such as leftover canned food.

In addition, the kitchenscraps would rot and become unsuitable because of the hot climate.

This method is suitable only for small-scale home farms.

The provision of food waste containers to every householdmay not be viable, as theoverall cost may make it uneconomical.

Also, strict cooperation of the residents and adherence to environmental guidelines are required for the scheme to work.

At present, it is already an uphill challenge just to get people to separate recyclables from the general garbage bound for the incinerator.

For a possible solution, weshould take a look at how some other countries handle their food waste.

Some countries have combined part of the garbage disposal system with the plumbingsystem, by installing grinders in the sinks of each household and modifying the piping tocarry food waste to a disposal plant.

In Singapore, a trial run could be carried out in one of the newer Build-To-Order projects.

The residents should be given a handbook that details the kinds of waste that could go into the sink as well as instructions on the maintenance of the device.

The food waste comingfrom these pipes could be processed and channelled into a large digester machine at a treatment plant to transformthem into usable fertilisers ("Project to test food waste digesters at markets" by the National Environment Agency; Nov 18, 2015).

We should use technology to solve our garbage woes.

Lee Kay Yan (Miss)

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on January 26, 2016, with the headline 'Implement garbage disposal system to recycle food waste'. Print Edition | Subscribe