Forum: Annual statistics on waste management published on NEA website

We thank Ms Kuik Tze-Yin for her views (Seeing results will drive more people to cut waste, Nov 3).

In 2019, about 7.23 million tonnes of solid waste was generated, 6 per cent lower than 2018. This is the third yearly reduction in waste generation since 2017.

About 75 per cent of the solid waste generated came from the non-domestic sector, with the remaining from the domestic sector. Both sectors saw a reduction in waste generation from 2018 to 2019.

These reductions are encouraging and result from Singapore's waste management strategy, which prioritises upstream reduction, followed by reuse and recycle.

While the non-domestic sector, which includes corporations, does account for the bulk of overall waste generated, its 73 per cent recycling rate is also far higher than the 17 per cent in the domestic sector.

So every effort counts, especially in the domestic sector, and individuals practising the 3Rs can make a difference collectively.

The National Environment Agency (NEA) has been publishing annual solid waste statistics on its website, showing the breakdown of the waste generated, waste disposed of, waste recycled and recycling rate by different waste streams.

To rally collective actions, the Zero Waste Masterplan, launched in 2019, has set unified targets to achieve 30 per cent reduction in waste-to-landfill per capita and achieving a 70 per cent recycling rate by 2030.

The former target will require each resident to reduce the amount of waste disposed of daily from about 800g today to 640g by 2030.

We agree that it is important for residents to see the connection between their efforts and the overall outcomes.

In recent years, NEA has stepped up our engagement with the public, corporate and NGO partners to create awareness of waste issues and support various ground-up 3R initiatives.

We also recognise the need to strengthen our local recycling capabilities, to improve our recycling rate and enhance our resilience in waste management, and to educate the public on these plans.

With this in mind, NEA recently announced potential plans to build a plastic recycling facility, and work with industry partners to explore mechanical recycling and chemical recycling for plastics.

No contribution is too small, and our collective efforts to reduce waste and conserve our resources will help ensure a more sustainable environment for future generations.

Desmond Tan

Group Director

Resource Sustainability Group

National Environment Agency