NEA launches tender for food waste recycling machines to be placed in 10 schools

Food recycling machines typically use microorganisms to convert discarded food into compost that is used as fertiliser to grow plants.
Food recycling machines typically use microorganisms to convert discarded food into compost that is used as fertiliser to grow plants.PHOTO: BERITA HARIAN

SINGAPORE - School staff, students and canteen operators will be in the frontlines of the National Environment Agency's battle against food waste.

On Friday, the NEA issued an invitation for companies to submit proposals for the leasing, service and maintenance of food waste recycling machines for 10 schools across the country.

Such recycling machines typically use microorganisms to convert discarded food into compost that is used as fertiliser to grow plants.

It is all a part of a two-year project by the NEA to "spread awareness of proper food waste management and encourage schools to reduce the amount of food waste they generate and dispose of", the agency said.

The tender will close at 4pm on Dec 23, and the project is expected to be launched by the second quarter of 2017.

As part of the project, the vendor will train the schools' staff, students and canteen stall holders on how to segregate food waste properly for recycling.

Participating schools will also hold assembly talks to encourage students not to waste food, and work with neighbouring schools and community partners to further spread the word.

The Republic is facing a growing food waste problem. Singapore produced 785,500 tonnes of food waste in 2015, which is nearly equivalent to two bowls of food per person per day. And this amount is expected to increase with our growing population and economic activity, said the NEA.

"When food is wasted, so are all of the resources used to produce and transport it. Food waste also contaminates recyclables and causes odour and pest nuisance if not managed properly," the agency said.

It added that the growing amount of food waste puts pressure on the Republic's waste disposal facilities.

The NEA will also support the schools in their organisation of food wastage reduction activities by providing educational resources such as posters, videos and games on food waste reduction.