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Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Singapore's island that's made of rubbish.

Yesterday, I had the opportunity to go visit a landfill as part of the activities for Clean and Green Singapore.

Brief introduction for today's post:
Rubbish and various waste in Singapore are collected by the authorised contractors and incinerated in the various incinerator plants around Singapore. The residue of that process is ash. The ash is then transported to Semakau Landfill to be dumped.

Here are some excerpts from the Signboards there:
The Semakau Landfill is Singapore's only landfill for waste disposal. It covers a total area of 350 hectares and has a landfill capacity of 63 million m cube. To create the landfill space, a 7-km perimeter bund was built to enclose a part of the sea off Pulau Semakau and Pulau Sakeng. It was commissioned in April 1999.

The project is divided into Phase 1 and 2. Phase 1 is then divided into different cells. The cells will be utilized one by one by draining off the water.

The building you see below is where we arrive after taking a 15 min ferry ride from the Pasir Panjang Ferry Terminal. You can see the "You are here" on the photo above. It's the main administrative building on this partially natural and partially man made island. We were at the conference room in this building listening to how the whole project is about and what we can do to reduce waste.

We were brought around in a mini bus and a mini van. This is what we saw from inside the vehicle. The grass and shrubs you see are actually one of the cells that have been filled up and grass and plants planted on it. Below them are our rubbish!

Rubbish are incinerated first so that it is only 10% of its original volume. Thus making it easier to transport and also making this landfill last longer. It is suppose to last for 45 years.

Part of the 7km bund that surrounds the man made landfill. The NEA Staff was joking to us, the Singapore Grand Prix can be held here! There's a 7 km bund with a very scenic view too!

More photos tomorrow.

Reflection time:
How much rubbish do you throw away? Do you buy things that come in less packaging? Do you reuse and recycle rather than throw things away?


Lynette said...

This is extremely interesting. Creative problem solving at its best, do you think?

Jazzy said...

impressive technology that you use for the rubbish.
i'm quite big on recycling, the vast amount of packaging that's been used in our society is completely unnecessary.
great post Keropok!

• Eliane • said...

Your two last pics are so buccolic!

Lara said...

Romanian has a huge problem with the rubbish. And people don't care -yet.

Unknown said...


They have to solve it somehow right? :-)

Good! there should be more people like you who are green!

it's amazing that there's rubbish below it right?

One day they will have to face it. I think people need to be educated.

Black235 said...

Dear Sir/Madam. I would like to use your picture of Semakau lanfill for a school project. It would be very helpful if you could grant me premission. Thank you.

Unknown said...

Sure. Hope this photos will be helpful for your school project.

Anonymous said...

Hi Everyone in the Environment Circle.....
I am new to this corner but old to the Rubbish Man-made Island and the rubbish operation years ago.
We, in a group of 2 buses visited the island at the start of the project when the island was not rubbish-up & now arranging to see around & compare SOON. Will report.

Anonymous said...

Follow-up ....Part II
It was told that time, the island will one day be a resort island for S'porean to watch, learn & play in environmental concept of natural or man-made beauty.
There is a preserved mangrove swamp corner, a jogging track of 7km round & round, a fishing shore line, a beauty sight of the horizon and peaceful silence of the Rubbish Island. What a fruitful day on a Dirty(beneath) but Smelless Island and added flagrant of Beauties & Creativities of Singapore!!!!!

the worm said...

Dear Keropok Man,
Hey! I'm a student writing a popular magazine article entitled "The Lost Islands of Singapore" and I'm also interested to use your photographs, specifically the one of the receiving station. Could I also use your photo? I will properly acknowledge you if I use the photograph. :)

Unknown said...



Glad to read about your update. I was thinking of going there again myself ;-)

the worm said...

Dear Keropok Man,

Is your identity a secret? I was hoping to be able to use your full name. But if it's a secret, then it's okay. :)