Waste Management
General - Management & Infrastructures
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General - Management & Infrastructures

Thinking about reducing waste, and better managing it, is key to reduce our over-consumption of materials and to decrease the use of energy we need to produce them. In fact we have to think from waste management to material management & optimization.

Moreover, Singapore being a small island, it is of vital importance to reduce and better manage our waste.

Read more about Singapore's waste strategy on towardszerowaste SG website.

Our solutions, as a result, do not talk only about where and how to recycle but more importantly on how to avoid waste in the first place.

Measure and Monitor
Cost
LOW
Cost
MEDIUM
Cost
HIGH
EFFORT
low
EFFORT
medium
EFFORT
HIGH
IMPACT
low
IMPACT
MEDIUM
IMPACT
HIGH

Measuring and monitoring waste generation are useful for reporting purposes and to identify losses of value. Measuring will help you also to define a baseline. You can then build a strategy to reduce waste whenever you can and then recycle the remaining.

1. Request your contractor to report on the quantity collected.

2. Verify the accuracy of the data. Data should be reported via two formats:

  • tonnage, measured by a weighbridge at the incinerator or the recycling facility
  • number of items, number of pallets, number of drums....

Request the calibration certificate of the weighbridge and conduct spot checks of the items to verify that the conversion kg/item or kg/L is still valid.

3. Track waste generation and calculate KPI to identify possible drifts in waste generation (kg of waste/tonne of products for instance).

Consider hiring a competent consultant to implement metering and monitoring processes, as well as to conduct a waste audit. It will greatly help you in prioritising opportunities and identified the most suitable technologies for your facility. See below solution to conduct a waste audit.

For measuring waste in offices, see our solutions in green office category.

3.40 billion

tonnes of global waste is expected annually by 2050. In comparison it is 2.01 billion tonnes per year today.
(The World Bank)

23%

is the % of global waste generated by ASEAN Region.
(The World Bank)

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES
Suppliers that provide solutions:
Zero Waste Consultants
Zero Waste City

Zero Waste City is an engineering consulting business specialised in waste reduction for commercial and industrial facilities. They help businesses to save money by reducing waste and to achieve Zero Waste goals. Their services include:

  • Waste audit
  • Grant funding application
  • Reporting
  • Regulatory compliance
  • Project management
  • Training
  • Guidance towards Zero Waste certification
Research & Strategy Firm (Waste Management and Recycling)
GAcircular

GACircular's mission is to create a world without waste by driving the transition towards a circular economy in Asia. To achieve this, they enable industries, investors, government or foundations to unlock business opportunities from fast-growing streams of food and packaging waste.

GACircular provides feasibility analysis, business model design and implementation of deployment for waste management and recycling infrastructure investments as well as extended producer responsibility (EPR) systems.

Conduct a Waste Audit
Cost
LOW
Cost
MEDIUM
Cost
HIGH
EFFORT
low
EFFORT
medium
EFFORT
HIGH
IMPACT
low
IMPACT
MEDIUM
IMPACT
HIGH

Verifying your current waste process and measuring your actual waste amount is important to know your first priorities.

When conducting a waste audit, you need to follow this process:

1. Identify all waste generation points (rooms, machinery, working station where discards are generated)

2. For each waste generation points:

  • identify the waste streams: determine the type of waste materials
  • qualify: determine the level of contamination of the discard
  • quantify each waste streams: estimate the quantity of discards generated per day/week/year

3. For each waste streams, look for upstream and downstream opportunities.

  • upstream opportunities: minimize waste or redesign the product to facilitate the reuse or recycling downstream
  • downstream opportunities: find ways to reuse or recycle the discards

Separately, assess:

  • waste management practices: the metering and monitoring protocoles in place to manage waste and your different waste contractors
  • infrastructures: the bins/compactors/signage adapted to the working environment (convenience, safety…) and the operating procedures for the segregation, collecting and transportation of the different waste streams.
  • the annual cost of waste collection.

Consider hiring a competent consultant to conduct a waste audit.

4% of turnover

Waste can cost up to 4% of turnover. It can easily be reduced to 1% - often with little or no investment.
(WRAP UK)

55%

of consumer plastic waste ends up in landfills or oceans.
(bain insight)

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES
Suppliers that provide solutions:
Zero Waste Consultants
Zero Waste City

Zero Waste City is an engineering consulting business specialised in waste reduction for commercial and industrial facilities. They help businesses to save money by reducing waste and to achieve Zero Waste goals. Their services include:

  • Waste audit
  • Grant funding application
  • Reporting
  • Regulatory compliance
  • Project management
  • Training
  • Guidance towards Zero Waste certification
Research & Strategy Firm (Waste Management and Recycling)
GAcircular

GACircular's mission is to create a world without waste by driving the transition towards a circular economy in Asia. To achieve this, they enable industries, investors, government or foundations to unlock business opportunities from fast-growing streams of food and packaging waste.

GACircular provides feasibility analysis, business model design and implementation of deployment for waste management and recycling infrastructure investments as well as extended producer responsibility (EPR) systems.

Communicate and Design Clear Signage
Cost
LOW
Cost
MEDIUM
Cost
HIGH
EFFORT
low
EFFORT
medium
EFFORT
HIGH
IMPACT
low
IMPACT
MEDIUM
IMPACT
HIGH

Recycling and waste management are complicated. So make the communication as simple and straightforward as possible.

Communication (signage) is done via colours, words, and symbols.

Make sure that the signage for waste generation is consistent throughout your facility (and ideally consistent with common practices in Singapore).

Report to your staff the waste management performances and highlight the environmental benefits from it. For instance: "10 tonnes of cardboard was recycled: we together saved 240 trees".

8,333

sheets of copy paper are made with 1 tree.
(Conservatree)

15 years

until the Semakau landfill (the only landfill in Singapore) runs out of place.
(CNA)  

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES

SOME TYPICAL CALCULATIONS

  • 1 ton of uncoated virgin (non-recycled) printing and office paper uses 24 trees
  • 1 ton of 100% virgin (non-recycled) newsprint uses 12 trees
  • More on Conservatree.org
Suppliers that provide solutions:
Adapt your Waste Infrastructures
Cost
LOW
Cost
MEDIUM
Cost
HIGH
EFFORT
low
EFFORT
medium
EFFORT
HIGH
IMPACT
low
IMPACT
MEDIUM
IMPACT
HIGH

Adapt your infrastructure to the type and quantity of discards you generate.

This includes:

  • suitable bins for collection (size and shape) which facilitate the transportation off site
  • balers to save space and (possibly) to increase the resale value
  • location of the bins to reduce human circulation and reduce the risk of injuries
  • When dealing with putrescible waste, make sure the bin is in a well ventilated area
ADDITIONAL RESOURCES

Businesses can apply to the 3R Fund to get financial assistance for projects aimed at redesigning processes to reduce waste, developing dedicated infrastructure and improving recycling processes.

See this useful factsheet to understand the 3R Fund.

Suppliers that provide solutions:
Bins for segregation of waste
Peter’s Environmental

Peters is a rotomoulding company with full manufacturing facility in Singapore since 1989. They design and supply litter bins, office products, street furniture, trash bags and stretch films. They are not specialised in sustainability but provide a wide range of recycling bins for your waste management.

Bins for segregation of waste
Grande Alliance Corporation Pte Ltd

Grande Alliance Corporation is a plumbing & sanitary ware supplier. They also provide a large range of Bins and Containers, including Compost bins, Recycling bins and Wastepaper baskets.

Raise awareness on Waste Management Best Practices
Cost
LOW
Cost
MEDIUM
Cost
HIGH
EFFORT
low
EFFORT
medium
EFFORT
HIGH
IMPACT
low
IMPACT
MEDIUM
IMPACT
HIGH

It is important to raise awareness and regularly train all stakeholders.

They are 3 parties involved to train:

  1. Staff - which must know how to segregate the different waste streams
  2. Cleaning company - which must maintain the segregation from the bins to the collector
  3. Waste collector - which must maintain the segregation from the 2 above up to the Material Recovery Facility.

Provide them clear information and guidance. You may design the trainings with a specialist.

For your staff, train them for waste management at work but also at their home. Start with helping them understand what is recyclable or not.

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES
Suppliers that provide solutions:
Zero Waste Consultants
Zero Waste City

Zero Waste City is an engineering consulting business specialised in waste reduction for commercial and industrial facilities. They help businesses to save money by reducing waste and to achieve Zero Waste goals. Their services include:

  • Waste audit
  • Grant funding application
  • Reporting
  • Regulatory compliance
  • Project management
  • Training
  • Guidance towards Zero Waste certification
Social Enterprise supporting businesses and communities
GreenNudge

Green Nudge is a social enterprise that supports businesses and communities to achieve positive environmental impact through activities such as coastal cleanups and workshops, outreach talks and sustainability consulting. By raising awareness and co-creating call-to-actions with various stakeholders on sustainability efforts, Green Nudge aims to create a normative shift in the way we create and deal with waste to achieve a low carbon, zero waste future for Singapore.

Provide action-application training and education on waste management practices
Zero Waste SG

Zero Waste SG is a charity and non-governmental organisation leading the drive towards zero waste in Singapore through education and advocacy. Zero Waste SG focuses on engaging the public and corporates on the 3Rs (Reduce, Reuse and Recycle) in areas of:

  1. Food Waste
  2. Plastic Disposables
  3. Household Recycling
  4. Organisational Waste
Upcycled interior products designer. Trainings on art, design and plastic waste
ayer ayer

We are a multi-disciplinary organisation that works in the intersection of art, design and science. We produce upcycled interior products and building materials from post-consumer plastic waste such as tables, chairs and wall tiles. We offer consultancy and training through educational hands-on workshops on art, design and plastic waste upcycling.

Implement better Waste Management Practices
Cost
LOW
Cost
MEDIUM
Cost
HIGH
EFFORT
low
EFFORT
medium
EFFORT
HIGH
IMPACT
low
IMPACT
MEDIUM
IMPACT
HIGH
Main Points to implement:
  • Integrate waste management in your sustainability policy
  • Conduct a waste audit to identify new opportunities for waste reduction and cost saving. As a rule of thumb, it can easily reach about 60% of the annual cost of general waste. (Rémi Césaro)
  • Verify that your waste contractors are properly licenced to handle the type of waste you generate
  • Make a commitment to thrive towards Zero waste and share the message with your staff

Follow Standards and Get Certified:

A certification is a confirmation by a third party that a company complies with a standard of reference. A certification on waste management performances proves that the company is taking action to minimise its environmental impacts & helps to put in place strong processes. A certification can also be a useful marketing tool for companies that want to push their sustainability agenda.

A standard is a set of rules that defines a framework in which a company should operate. There are several standards in Singapore and internationally that frame practices around waste management for different facilities or different waste stream. A company should therefore follow the standard(s) that fits its requirements.

More and more standards exist nowadays and they are all different. However, despite the diversity of standards, it is important to know that not all of them are equally recognized (see below additional resources).  It may therefore be interesting to get advice from a specialist (see below suppliers).

Involve all stakeholders:

Green Teams, facility managers and operation managers should ally forces to provide data, define an adapted strategy for waste system and build a business case for winning senior management support. See our starter kit and Engaging People on a sustainable journey page for ideas.

Share your strategy and Results:

Unlike energy, waste is a tangible asset and easy to comprehend for staff. Be transparent and describe how discards are reused and recycled.

Monitor and Improve:

Continuously monitor results of your improved waste system, correct wrong practices, set higher targets annually. Ask the help of a professional if need be.

60%-70%

is an achievable recycling rate if you operate efficient recycling schemes for paper, glass, cardboards, cans and toner cartridges.
(WRAP UK)

30%

decrease in waste should be achieved by Singapore before 2030 to extend Semakau landfill’s lifespan beyond 2035.
(CNA)

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES

Environmental Management system includes waste management. Some standards and certifications for waste management are:

  • ISO 14001: BSI produced the world’s first environmental standard, BS 7750 now ISO 14001.
  • UL2799 Zero Waste to Landfill: Certification for businesses that can achieve at least 90% diversion rate from landfill and certification.
  • GBCI TRUE Zero Waste (U.S. Green Building Council Inc): Certification for businesses that can achieve at least 90% diversion rate from landfill and certification and incorporate Zero Waste principles in their business management and operations (such as procurement policies, leadership in circular economy...).
Suppliers that provide solutions:
Zero Waste Consultants
Zero Waste City

Zero Waste City is an engineering consulting business specialised in waste reduction for commercial and industrial facilities. They help businesses to save money by reducing waste and to achieve Zero Waste goals. Their services include:

  • Waste audit,
  • Grant funding application,
  • Reporting,
  • Regulatory compliance,
  • Project management,
  • Training,
  • Guidance towards Zero Waste certification
Buddies - Experience sharing

The « green journey » may feel overwhelming sometimes, but you are not alone.

Our Buddies have tried, succeeded, failed to implement change in their companies. They share their experience so you can learn, take shortcuts, get inspired and ask questions.

Everybody can become a Buddy and give back to the community; if you are keen, get in touch with us.

Rémi Cesaro
Founder & Director - Zero Waste City

Founder and Director of the consulting business Zero Waste City, Rémi provides engineering consulting services to large commercial and industrial facilities on waste management, energy efficiency, and packaging design.

He has gained a strong experience as a consultant covering a wide range of industries and technologies in New Zealand, Australia, and Singapore.

He is a certified TRUE Advisor (Total Resource Use Efficiency) by the U.S. Green Building Council Inc. This certification recognised his knowledge in Zero Waste programs and his ability to support businesses to achieve the TRUE Zero Waste certification.

Mary Kon-Sun-Tack
Asia Customer Experience Director, Sustainability Ambassador - Lyreco

In charge of Customer Experience for Lyreco Asia, Mary joined the company in 2018 to accelerate Digital and Marketing activities. In 2020, she was appointed sustainability ambassador as well for the region, as the topic was becoming a strategic one for the company. Thriving to drive the change internally and externally, she launched a Green Team that she is co-leading with her colleague.

Prior to this role, Mary had made her career essentially in the hospitality industry at global and regional role, from trade marketing, sales to Digital marketing. Before moving to Singapore in 2015, she was based in Dubai, UAE and France.

Li Seng Heng
Founder - Green Nudge, Green Collar

Li Seng is the founder of Green Nudge, a social enterprise that supports businesses and communities to achieve positive environmental impact through activities such as coastal cleanups and workshops, outreach talks and sustainability consulting. By raising awareness and co-creating call-to-actions with various stakeholders on sustainability efforts, Green Nudge aims to create a normative shift in the way we create and deal with waste to achieve a low carbon, zero waste future for Singapore.

Li Seng’s previous experience in the public sector in the central bank of Singapore dealing with financial regulations, combined with his current roles in the community and social enterprise sector reinforced his belief that effective public policies need to be supported by ground-up actions and engagement. Playing an interfacing role within the tri-sector, Li Seng is able to provide sectoral knowledge through a system thinking lens to make informed decisions and strategies. He is happy to discuss disposables, sustainability of events, public education, and is familiar with corporate social responsibility and community / youth engagement.

Virgile Viasnoff
Professor, Mechanobiology – NUS, CNRS

Virgile is an academic researcher who works for the CNRS (France) and the National University of Singapore. He heads an international collaborative lab between Singapore and France at the mechanobiology institute.

He is also in charge of the transition towards more sustainable practices in the lab and in the institute. He has already implemented various actions covering energy efficiency, consumables usage reduction, waste management...

Benoit Barraque
Head of Application Service for Finance, Compliance & IT4IT domains - Credit Agricole CIB

Passionate about travels, Benoit left France in 2011 for Asia, lived in Hong Kong then landed in Singapore 6 years ago, working for Credit Agricole CIB. With 15 years of experience in IT across different sectors and industries, he is now managing a team focusing on IT application support. In 2017, he was one of the founders, and now the leader, of their first green team in Singapore.

Andrew Tay
Business Development Director - KGS

I started my career as a mechanical engineer for 5 years and joined TayPaper Recycling in 2018. Tay Paper Recycling has grown from an informal scrap dealer to now a leading paper focused recycling company in Singapore. On top of just recycling, we also offer confidential data disposal services to help clients comply with PDPA, GDPR and recycle at the same time. I am now working at KGS, an e-waste and data sanitization company.