A Snapshot of Construction Waste Management in Singapore

By Candice Lim

n Singapore, where natural resources are scarce, technology is used to create usable materials or improve on processes in industries where immense quantities of resources are required, such as in construction. The treatment of incineration bottom ash (IBA) or slag created via gasification has also opened doors to using it as an alternative material in construction, potentially replacing the need for sand. Rising temperatures and more erratic weather patterns from climate change will worsen resource constraints and supply shocks.

Singapore has created Newsand from repurposed municipal solid waste, and it may be used in construction in the country. It is hoped that this material will help to close the waste loop and extend the lifespan of Singapore’s landfill on Semakau Island. Newsand can currently be made from IBA. Trials and tests will be conducted, with small-scale constructions being put in place to experiment with this material. The National Environment Agency said 3,000 tonnes of IBA generated from the waste-to-energy plants in Singapore will be collected and treated for use as a road base or sub-base material in road construction projects. These efforts are a culmination of efforts over the years to turn trash into resources and close the nation’s waste loop.

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