It’s hard to believe but every year, around 200,000 tonnes of solid waste and incineration ash is sent to a small island off the coast of Singapore. That’s almost the weight of a Boeing 757-200.
In 2011, it was estimated the landfill would last until 2045. At the current rate of disposal, however, it’s believed the landfill will run out of space much more rapidly, and will only last to 2035 – a dire indicator for global wastage.
About 79 per cent of domestic waste generated is incinerated at one of four waste-to-energy (WTE) incineration plants every day in Singapore. However, the more waste incinerated, the higher Singapore’s carbon footprint which contributes to global warming and climate change.
The resulting incinerated ash as well as other non-incinerable waste then makes its way to Semakau Island.
Located 8km south of Singapore, Semakau Island (Pulau Semakau) is not your average island destination. Built in 1999 to meet Singapore’s waste disposal needs when the last remaining landfill on the mainland was closed, Semakau is now Singapore’s only landfill covering 350 hectares.