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Food, Singapore

Walter Sim
Thursday, May 1, 2014

Food, Singapore

Report food waste data, malls and hotels

The Straits Times | Walter Sim | Thursday, May 1, 2014

Veolia is the appointed public waste collector for the Pasir Ris-Tampines, Bedok and Tanglin-Bukit Merah sectors. Collection is done via co-mingling, or mixing the recyclables in a common bag or bin. Here, between eight and 10 workers in a cabin sort the remaining recyclables by hand, dropping them into seven open-top containers.

SINGAPORE - About 250 shopping malls and hotels will need to report waste and recycling data to the National Environment Agency (NEA) from next year.

They must state the weight of waste discarded and that channelled for reuse and recycling, broken down by type, such as paper, metals and food. Their reports must reach the agency by the first quarter of next year.

Companies must also submit waste reduction plans.

The amount of waste generated in Singapore has been rising over the years. Last year, some 7.85 million tonnes were generated, up from 7.27 million tonnes in 2012. The 2011 figure was 6.9 million tonnes.

This compulsory exercise is aimed at hotels with more than 200 rooms, and malls with net lettable areas of over 50,000 sq ft.

An NEA spokesman, responding to queries from The Straits Times, said: "Large commercial premises are generally less responsive to potential savings from reducing waste as waste disposal costs account for only about 3 per cent of their total utilities bill.

"We hope to draw and sustain greater management attention on the waste produced by the premises."

The agency said it will use the data to work with companies to improve waste management plans, through the "sharing of best practices".

There are no incentives for the companies that fare better.

Affected businesses say they are supportive of the programme, and are working with external vendors to monitor their respective waste situation.

A spokesman for Suntec City Mall said it adopts a "collaborative approach" with its tenants, and closely monitors waste and recycling.

Marina Bay Sands (MBS) president and chief executive officer George Tanasijevich said waste management forms an "integral" part of its sustainability efforts.

"We are targeting to achieve a 30 per cent waste diversion rate by end of this year and have plans to continuously improve our recycling rate," he said.

MBS generates reports on waste and recycling on a twice- monthly basis with the help of its external waste vendor, and conducts quarterly audits, he said.

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