Turn hawker centre waste into fertiliser

With the number of hawker centres here set to increase, the amount of food waste would also increase exponentially.

Food waste includes table scraps, unsold cooked food, and things like sugar cane, coconut husks, vegetable peels and so on.

Normally, these are disposed of together with other garbage destined for the incinerator.

But these waste materials can be put to better use.

Recently, a primary school here successfully used a "digester machine" to convert food waste into usable fertiliser.

Every hawker centre should obtain a digester machine so that food waste can be transformed into a commodity of value - fertiliser - which is important for local vegetable and fruit farms.

With the tonnes of food waste produced from these hawker centres every year, the fertiliser produced could be sold to generate a decent additional income to better upkeep the hawker centre.

Perhaps the fertiliser could be sold to community gardens managed by residents at a lower price, so as to promote the green movement around Singapore.

There are no complex procedures involved in operating the machine, and trained personnel are not required.

The cleaners at the hawker centres would be most suited for the job and can churn out newly made fertiliser ready for use within 24 hours.

Lee Kay Yan (Miss)

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on November 12, 2015, with the headline 'Turn hawker centre waste into fertiliser'. Print Edition | Subscribe