By Sharon See, Channel NewsAsia, 9 Sep 2012.
Trash is a resource, too, if you recycle it. Anyone can do this, by segregating the recyclables from the non-recyclables at home.
That’s the message behind this year’s Recycling Week.
Organisers hope to drive home this message, particularly to homemakers aged 50 and above because they are believed to handle most of the recyclables at home.
This year, the annual outreach event was held on Sunday at the open field next to the Jurong East Bus Interchange and officiated by Second Minister for the Environment and Water Resources, Grace Fu. Read more
This article is contributed by Tania Ellis, author of The New Pioneers.
Upcycling is the process of converting waste materials or useless products into new materials or products of better quality or a higher environmental value. It reduces the consumption of new raw materials when creating new products, and is contrary to downcycling, which is the other half of the recycling process which involves converting materials and products into new materials of lesser quality.
The UK-based company Worn Again, voted ‘number one eco brand’ by The Independent in 2008, uses the combination of aesthetic and environmental capital by upcycling corporate waste materials into new, design-led products. Read more
Ministry of the Environment and Water Resources – Addendum to the President’s Address [Press Releases]
A sustainable and clean Singapore
1 Our careful environmental stewardship over the years has enabled us to build a high quality environment in Singapore for people to live, work and play in. It has been a source of competitive advantage.
2 Looking ahead, to improve our resilience and responsiveness to a changing landscape, we will enhance resource efficiency, improve infrastructure, strengthen capabilities, elevate standards and empower the community.
(I) Enhancing resource efficiency
3 It is a strategic imperative that we use energy, water and materials more efficiently to both reduce pollution and bolster Singapore’s economic resilience.
4 Energy efficiency is one of our key strategies to achieve environmental sustainability, energy security and economic competitiveness. For the industry sector, the Ministry will implement the Energy Conservation Act in 2013. Large energy users will be required to formulate energy efficiency improvement plans, appoint energy managers and to submit energy consumption data. Read more
Singapore, 5 July 2011 – Waste Management and Recycling Association of Singapore (WMRAS) and National Environment Agency (NEA) launched a brand new trade event, WasteMET Asia, an exhibition and conference in solid waste management and environmental technology. Co-located with Singapore International Water Week and World Cities Summit in July 2012, the inaugural event is proud to have International Solid Waste Association (ISWA) as a strategic partner. WasteMET Asia is also supported by Economic Development Board, International Enterprise Singapore, JTC Corporation, Singapore Exhibition & Convention Bureau, and SPRING Singapore. Read more
Over 7 million people visited the two IKEA stores in Singapore last year. Singaporeans love IKEA for its affordable and well-designed home furnishing products, but not many realise that IKEA is also committed to sustainability.
At Green Business Times, we have always admired how IKEA conduct business while keeping in mind their environmental and social responsibilities. To give you an overview of how IKEA embraces sustainability, we will share with you the efforts of the IKEA Group and IKEA Singapore. Read more
Green IT or green computing usually refers to making the data centre and other IT system or equipment more energy efficient, and to reduce the environmental impacts associated with IT, such as recycling of computing equipment.
You can adopt the following Green IT practices on energy efficiency in your organisation’s data centre, energy efficient office equipment, energy saving tips and recycling of used electronic equipment. Read more
Nokia held its first Virtual Eco-Roundtable in Singapore last week and we were invited to attend the event and hear Nokia’s global and Southeast Asia Pacific (SEAP) executives speak on environmental sustainability and its commitment to the environment. The discussion was held in Nokia’s videoconference room, the Halo Room, as some speakers were presenting from the Nokia HQ in Finland.
The presentations and speakers include:
- Introduction by Chris Carr, Vice President, Sales, SEAP
- Nokia Environmental Strategy by Markus Terho, Director, Environmental Affairs, Markets
- SEAP Environmental Programs by Francis Cheong, Regional Manager, Environmental Affairs, SEAP
- Environmental Design by Tiina Karhu, Senior Specialist, Design Strategy, Nokia Design
- Packaging Design by Ulla Uimonen, Head of Packaging Design, Nokia Design
We learned 2 key points from the Nokia Virtual Eco-Roundtable: 1) Nokia is Integrating Sustainability into the Business and 2) Nokia is Advocating Sustainable Choices. Read more
The Minister for the Environment and Water Resources, Dr Yaacob Ibrahim, gave his speech at the annual Committee of Supply Debate yesterday in Parliament. He covered the following topics:
- Sustainable Development & Resource Efficiency
- Climate Change, Energy Efficiency & Solar Energy
- Managing Water Demand
- Enhancing Capabilities and Building Long-Term Competitiveness
- Air Quality
- Dengue & Chikungunya
- Public Cleanliness and Littering
- Hawker Centres
- Cleanliness of Food Outlets, Toilets and Waste Collection
- ABC Waters Programme & Marina Barrage
Summary of Key Issues
Given the global downturn, the ability to grow the economy in a sustainable way has become more, not less, relevant. Continuing to achieve good growth while maintaining a good environment will require first, the prudent use of natural resources, second, building capability in the environmental sector, and third, protecting our environment to ensure environmental standards do not slip, and even improve.
The Inter-Ministerial Committee on Sustainable Development (IMCSD) will release its report in March, including the $1 billion budget for sustainable development.
The preliminary results of the 2-year study by NEA to understand the long-term effects of climate change, indicate that Singapore’s existing infrastructure is sufficient to address the risks in the short to medium term.
Companies are already implementing energy efficiency measures with funding such as the Design for Efficiency scheme to co-fund workshops to design energy efficient facilities, and the Grant for Energy Efficient Technologies to co-fund up to 50% of the cost of energy efficient equipment or technology.
The government is taking the lead on energy efficiency and is on track to meet its goal of conducting energy audits for all government buildings with more than 15,000 square metres of air-conditioned floor area by March 2010.
NEA will implement Minimum Energy Performance Standards (MEPS) for household air-conditioners and refrigerators by 2011 to remove the least efficient models (1-tick and 2-tick range) from the market.
Solar energy is still more costly than conventional grid electricity generated from fossil fuels, but prices are expected to come down as the technology matures. To build up our capabilities for future adoption when it is cost-effective to do so, we will continue to research and test-bed such new technologies.
The Four National Taps strategy provides Singapore with NEWater and desalinated water options during dry weather, thus improving the drought resilience of the water supply system. But it is still important for Singaporeans to conserve water and use it efficiently.
Taps, urinals and dual-flush low capacity flushing cisterns (LCFCs) installed in new developments and existing premises undergoing renovation from July 2009 must have at least a one-tick water efficiency rating. In addition, all new domestic premises and existing ones undergoing renovation have to use dual-flush LCFCs from July 2009.
For water efficiency projects under the Water Efficiency Fund, PUB has increased the co-funding for SMEs from 50% to 80% of the cost of qualifying projects. PUB will also help SMEs to defray part of the retrofitting costs involved in switching to NEWater, and help them reduce their water bills by providing free constant flow regulators and spray nozzles.
The participation rate in the National Recycling Programme (NRP) has increased from 15% in 2001 to 63% in 2008.
Since 2007, there are 1,600 centralized recycling bins at HDB estates and one for every five blocks of HDB flats. The average amount of recyclables collected from each set of bins increased from 65 kg per month in 2007 to 103 kg per month for 2008.
NEA targets to achieve full implementation for the mandatory provision of recycling receptacles in condominium and private apartments by the end of 2009.
Singapore’s recycling rate has improved from 40% in 2000 to 56% in 2008 and we are on track to meet the Singapore Green Plan 2012 target of 60%.
NEA will be launching a $8 million 3R Fund to co-fund new waste minimisation and recycling projects. The fund will co-fund up to 80% of qualifying costs and subject to a cap of $1 million per project.
We are aware that some developed countries have used legislation to mandate recycling. In view of the current economic downturn, we are not looking at introducing legislation in the near future as it would likely increase costs for businesses and households. However, in the longer term, we will study the use of legislation to further improve our recycling rate.
The Ministry is developing a plan to turn Semakau landfill into an Eco Park, where companies can conduct field testing of renewable and clean technologies.
The Green Vehicle Rebate (GVR) Scheme will be extended by another 2 years till 31 December 2011. Through the GVR scheme, the number of green vehicles such as CNG and hybrid vehicles has increased to more than 5,400 as at end 2008. This is about 1% of the total car population.
There are now 3 CNG refuelling stations and this is expected to increase to 5 by the end of this year with the opening of stations at Serangoon North and Toh Tuck.
Under the ABC Waters Programme, 27 projects will be carried out across Singapore by 2012 to transform our drains, canals and reservoirs into beautiful and clean streams, rivers and lakes integrated into our neighbourhoods.
We have a shared responsibility to ensure sustainable development. Companies can develop and deploy technologies and products that are more environmentally- friendly than today, and incorporate environmental considerations into their operations and procedures. Citizens must embrace a lifestyle that considers the environment and limits resource consumption in their daily lives. Government will promote sustainability by setting an example, demonstrating our commitment, and involving people.
Sustainable development is a long-term process with long-term objectives. It means focusing on the horizon, rather than quick fixes; targeting prevention now, rather than putting right later; caring for the environment as part of our choices today, rather than dealing with the consequences of neglect down the line.
Recycling Day is an annual event where the public can learn more about recycling and the 3Rs through exhibition booths, exchange of recyclables for gifts, and taking part in various games and contests.
This year’s Recycling Day will be held at the main site, Blk 252, Yu Hua Village, and three other satellite sites at Hougang Central, Blk 123 Bukit Merah View, and Yio Chu Kang Secondary School. Visit the Clean and Green Singapore 2009 website for more details.
Singapore National Environment Agency to Co-host Global Conference on Prospects and Challenges of Waste Management in Asia
This article is a News Release from the National Environment Agency.
Singapore, 13 October 2008 – The Singapore National Environment Agency (NEA) will co-host an international conference next month to discuss prospects and challenges of solid waste management in Asia, and the emerging technologies and good practices to address these challenges.
The International Solid Waste Association (ISWA) Congress 2008 is an annual meeting that gathers leading chief executives from the waste sector, government officials, experts and representatives of community organisations from around the world to share knowledge and experiences of sustainable waste management.
The meeting in Singapore will be staged at Suntec City from 3-6 November 2008 and is co-organised by NEA, ISWA and Waste Management and Recycling Association of Singapore (WMRAS). Over 800 delegates from more than 60 countries and territories are expected to attend the event. Read more