Singapore's waste disposal needs get a boost

With the completion of the Phase II development of Semakau Landfill, Singapore now has the capacity to meet waste disposal needs for the next 20 years and beyond, says the NEA.
Chan Luo Er Channel NewsAsia 11 Jul 15;

SINGAPORE: The Republic's waste disposal needs got a 16.7 million cubic metres boost on Saturday (Jul 11), with the completion of the Phase II development of Semakau Landfill.

This size of Phase II is the equivalent of nearly 6,700 Olympic-sized pools. According to the National Environment Agency (NEA), the nation now has the capacity to meet waste disposal needs for the next 20 years and beyond.

Phase II was first conceptualised by NEA in 2010 when Singapore's sole landfill at Semakau island was estimated to be filled by 2016. Phase I currently has 6.5 hectres of sea space left. This will be kept as a reserve when landfill operations for Phase II begins in August 2015. The new 157-hectre development cost S$37 million to build.

NEA said that the landfill shows how sustainable waste management can co-exist with marine life and habitats. NEA had earlier embarked on two major projects to preserve the marine habitats in the development area. Over 700 colonies of corals in the lagoon were harvested and transplanted to Sisters' Island from September 2014 to January 2015. Over the past month, NEA has also been working with nature groups to transfer fish within the lagoon to the open sea.

"The expansion of Semakau Landfill is testament to Singapore's engineering capability and the success of its novel approach to waste management. Singapore's only landfill represents a balancing feat between physical development and environmental conservation. While it is necessary to meet the waste diposal needs of Singapore, our priority has always been to ensure that it is done in an environmentally sustainable way," said Minister of the Environment and Water Resorces Dr Vivian Balakrishnan at the launch of Phase II of the landfill.

The launch also marks the re-opening of the island's educational nature tours to members of the public and nature groups from Jul 12. Tours were suspended in early 2014 when construction for Phase II began.

- CNA/av

Singapore’s waste disposal capacity gets a boost
Today Online 11 Jul 15;

SINGAPORE — The Republic’s waste disposal capacity received an additional boost of 16.7 million cubic metres — equivalent of nearly 6,700 Olympic-size swimming pools — with the completion of the Phase II development of Semakau Landfill.

In a press release today (July 11), the National Environment Agency (NEA) said the nation now has the capacity to meet waste disposal needs to 2035 and beyond.

Phase II was first conceptualised by NEA in 2010 when Singapore’s sole landfill at Semakau island was estimated to be filled by 2016. NEA embarked on the Phase II development in 2011 to convert the remaining 157-hectare sea space into landfill space by closing the 160-metre gap at the southern perimeter bund of Semakau Landfill. TODAY understands that the new 157-hectre development cost S$37 million to build.

According to the NEA, Phase II is designed to maximise the landfill capacity and minimise the amount of sand used, thus lowering the overall construction cost.

To ensure preservation of marine inhabitants around the island, NEA said they conducted two major projects in the Phase II development area. Over 700 colonies of corals in the Phase II lagoon were harvested and transplanted to Sisters’ Island from September 2014 to January 2015. The second project, which is still ongoing since June 2015, sees NEA working with nature groups to transfer fish within the Phase II lagoon into the open sea.

“The expansion of Semakau Landfill is testament to Singapore’s engineering capability and the success of its novel approach to waste management. Singapore’s only landfill represents a balancing feat between physical development and environmental conservation. While it is necessary to meet the waste disposal needs of Singapore, our priority has always been to ensure that it is done in an environmentally sustainable way,” said Minister of the Environment and Water Resorces Dr Vivian Balakrishnan.

NEA added that they will be re-opening Semakau Landfill to members of the public and nature groups from 12 July 2015 for educational and nature-based visits. Tours were suspended in early 2014 when construction for Phase II began. The public can schedule visits by filling out the booking form at https://www.nea.gov.sg/services-forms/forms/booking-form-for-visit-to-nea-installation KHAIRUL AMRI BIN MOHD SIDIK

Biggest rubbish dump grows bigger
Cheryl Faith Wee, Straits Times AsiaOne 13 Jul 15;

Singapore's biggest rubbish dump is ready for more trash.

Yesterday, Environment and Water Resources Minister Vivian Balakrishnan opened a new section of the offshore Semakau Landfill that can hold enough incinerated waste to fill 6,680 Olympic-size swimming pools.

All 11 cells in the Phase I section of the landfill are expected to be filled by next year, and the new added capacity will take it to at least 2035. The National Environment Agency (NEA) started development of the second phase in 2011. Unlike Phase I, which has multiple landfill cells, the second has a single large cell to maximise capacity and lower costs.

Pulau Semakau is also noted for being a recreational area with guided walks. Said Dr Balakrishnan at an event to mark the completion of the second phase: "This is probably one of the few landfill sites in the world that can also become a tourist attraction. "We can bring people here and they can see many things - both on a technological front as well as on the conservation and environmental fronts."

In Phase II, a gap in the southern perimeter bund of the landfill was closed to convert a 157ha sea space into space that could be used for waste disposal.

A 200m floating platform and a floating waste water treatment plant were also constructed.

Dump trucks will transport incineration ash to the landfill via the floating platform, which can move to allow the ash to be spread across the large cell. Water that is displaced is processed at the treatment plant before it is discharged into the open sea.

NEA also carried out two marine life preservation projects, including transplanting more than 700 colonies of corals to Sisters' Island. Dr Balakrishnan stressed that Singaporeans should produce less waste and recycle more.

He said: "In the long run, Singapore can't keep creating more and more Pulau Semakaus."

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