Tampines town moves to reduce food waste and promote sustainable food production

Minister for Social and Family Development Masagos Zulkifli (second right) and fellow MPs from Tampines GRC at the unveiling of a robotic arm on Dec 5, 2020. PHOTO: TAMPINES TOWN COUNCIL

SINGAPORE - As part of efforts to transform Tampines into an eco-town, an initiative was launched on Saturday (Dec 5) to reduce food waste and promote sustainable food production.

Coined Sustainability @ Tampines Park, it includes a vertical vegetable farm along the wall of Block 146 Tampines Avenue 5, where nai bai, lettuce and bayam spinach are grown.

In just three to four weeks, the vegetables will be harvested by hand and given to residents in exchange for their food waste.

The food waste is fed to black soldier fly larvae, which breaks it down into fertiliser.

The fertiliser can be used in the vertical vegetable farm, while the pupae of the black soldier fly can be used as feed for tilapia fish being reared in the Tampines Park pond.

Tampines Town Council said it has plans to trial a robotic arm that will harvest the vegetables and move it to a locker where residents can collect their produce.

Additionally, Tampines Town Council is experimenting with smart light-emitting diode (LED) lights which brightens when movement is detected in the vicinity and dims otherwise. This can lead to energy savings of up to 80 per cent.

Ms Cheng Li Hui, chairman of Tampines Town Council, said: "While developing Tampines into a model Eco Town continues to be a priority, the town has seen more people-centric processes that involve our residents and different stakeholders.

"With everyone's contributions, the project will be a success in reducing food waste while strengthening the community's food resilience," she said, referring to the latest initiative.

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