Reusing landfill material

Reusing landfill material

NEA is leading the research and development (R&D) efforts to find solutions to extend the lifespan of Semakau Landfill beyond 2035 under the Closing the Waste Loop (CTWL) R&D Initiative.

An aerial view of replanted mangroves at the Southern plot of Semakau Landfill (Photo credits: National Environment Agency)

The National Environment Agency (NEA) has issued a Request for Proposal (RFP) to study the technical feasibility of recovering mixed landfilled materials. These comprise incineration bottom ash (IBA) and incineration fly ash (IFA) from waste-to-energy (WtE) plants and non-incinerable waste (NIW) from industries, which were landfilled at the Phase I cells of Semakau Landfill.

The findings would enable a better understanding of the process of extending the lifespan of Semakau Landfill and avoid future costs of constructing another offshore landfill. Besides promoting a circular economy in resource management, the success of this R&D initiative will mark the first step to truly close the waste loop for Singapore, going beyond just recovering NEWSand from treated IBA and Municipal Solid Waste (MSW) slag today.

If nothing is done by 2035…

Semakau Landfill is projected to run out of space by 2035. Hence, RFP seeks to explore innovative and novel solutions for prolonging the lifespan of Semakau Landfill and spur Singapore’s drive towards becoming a zero waste nation.

The RFP aims to understand the physical and chemical properties of the landfilled materials comprising IBA, IFA and NIW, that had ‘aged’ over time. The objectives are to assess the technical and economic feasibility of refreshing the landfill space through extracting the landfilled materials and finding suitable applications for the recovered materials, which could potentially be used as sand or aggregate replacement in various applications.

Tan Meng Dui, Chief Executive Officer of NEA said, “NEA is spearheading R&D efforts to go even further, so as to truly close the waste loop for the range of end-of-life waste and residues ending up at Semakau Landfill. This R&D initiative seeks to develop safe and sustainable solutions to turn the trash dumped into a landfill into ‘treasure’ that will have new future uses.”

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