SP, recycling sector seek 'zero waste' with tie-up

Singapore Polytechnic research scientist Thong Ya Xuan (right) showing Dr Amy Khor, Senior Minister of State for the Environment and Water Resources, a new development that can help the recycling and waste management industry at the poly yesterday.
Singapore Polytechnic research scientist Thong Ya Xuan (right) showing Dr Amy Khor, Senior Minister of State for the Environment and Water Resources, a new development that can help the recycling and waste management industry at the poly yesterday.ST PHOTO: LEE JIA WEN

A team of researchers from Singapore Polytechnic (SP) 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 and Recycling Association of Singapore, which hopes to capitalise on the poly's research expertise to achieve Singapore's "zero waste" vision through technological developments.

A memorandum of understanding was signed yesterday, 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 several showcased by SP to launch the tie-up.

Electronic waste is one of the areas the collaboration hopes to target. The Republic is one of the top three electronic waste producers in South-east Asia, yet only 6 per cent of some 60,000 tonnes of electronic waste produced here each year are recycled.

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

  • 6%

    Proportion of electronic waste produced here each year that is recycled.

Dr Amy Khor, Senior Minister of State for the Environment and Water Resources, said at 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".

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 05, 2018, with the headline 'SP, recycling sector seek 'zero waste' with tie-up'. Print Edition | Subscribe