Take steps to prolong landfill's lifespan

One cannot help but commend the efforts that various organisations have taken to conserve the environment.

But a recent visit to Pulau Semakau has alerted me to how little we actually know about local conservation efforts.

Do we know what happens to our waste?

A good number of people may know that our waste gets transported to Pulau Semakau, but how many are aware that this landfill will fill up by 2035 ("Biggest rubbish dump grows bigger"; July 12)?

It is worthwhile acknowledging the value of this small island beyond its function as a landfill.

Pulau Semakau supports a variety of animal species, including migratory birds from Siberia. Sea bass is also produced there. The island is also a space for recreational activities like stargazing.

Semakau Landfill was initially predicted to reach its limit by 2040.

Shaving five years off that prediction may not seem like much at first glance, but it is vital that we recognise the issue and take steps to prolong the lifespan of our landfill.

We do not know if we will have another landfill when Semakau fills up. Why not treasure what we have and do our best to make good use of it, instead of taking it for granted and risking our future?

Rachel Emily Wu (Ms)

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on November 17, 2015, with the headline 'Take steps to prolong landfill's lifespan'. Print Edition | Subscribe