Singapore Polytechnic teams up with recycling industry to target zero waste goal

File photo showing the exterior of the Singapore Polytechnic campus. The institution has found ways to improve the recycling of electronic waste and solar panels so that valuable materials can be recovered instead of incinerated.
File photo showing the exterior of the Singapore Polytechnic campus. The institution has found ways to improve the recycling of electronic waste and solar panels so that valuable materials can be recovered instead of incinerated. PHOTO: ST FILE

SINGAPORE - A team of researchers from Singapore Polytechnic has come up with a way of fully recycling incineration ash, a development which could lead towards landfills becoming a thing of the past.

When combined with glass powder and other materials, one tonne of incineration ash can yield up to $11,500 worth of foam glass, a material used for thermal insulation that is highly sought after in the construction industry.

Developments like this have prompted a collaboration between SP and the Waste Management & Recycling Association of Singapore, which hopes to capitalise on the Polytechnic's research expertise to achieve Singapore's 'zero waste' vision through technological developments.

The two parties signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) on Monday (June 4), which will also see the launch of a Chemical and Workplace Safety Programme - a two-day workshop for chemical and waste management companies - later this year.

The foam glass initiative was among severalshowcased by SP to launch the collaboration with the association, which has more than 150 members.

Electronic waste is one of the areas the collaboration hopes to target.

The Republic is one of the top three electronic waste producers in Southeast Asia yet only six per cent of some 60,000 tonnes of electronic waste produced here each year is recycled.

SP has also found ways to improve the recycling of electronic waste and solar panels so that valuable materials can be recovered instead of incinerated.

Dr Amy Khor, Senior Minister of State for the Environment and Water Resources, told the signing ceremony that by 2025, it is projected that "some 30,000 workers will benefit from higher value-added jobs in the cleaning and waste management industry".