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Singapore - Waste Disposal

Because Singapore is essentially a small island with a large population, waste removal is critical and disposing of that waste properly is even more important. Singapore currently incinerates its waste, due to lack of available land for landfills, but Singaporeans also recycle almost as much as they throw away.

There are four main garbage disposal companies in Singapore. They are:

Veolia ES Singapore Pte Ltd
Pasir Ris-Tampines and Tanglin-Bukit Merah sectors: 6865 3140 Colex Holdings Ltd
Jurong sector: 6268 4775

SembWaste Pte Ltd
Bedok, Clementi, City, Hougang-Punggol and Woodlands-Yishun sectors: 1800 278 6135

800 Super Waste Management Pte Ltd
Ang Mo Kio-Toa Payoh Sector: 6366 3800

Other companies might also be available. Average costs for waste removal are around $7 per month for flats and $23 per month for landed houses. In a landed house, you will definitely be responsible for waste removal. In a flat, townhouse, or apartment your landlord might be the one who is responsible for waste removal. This is something that you’ll want to clarify in your rental contract.

If you live in an HDB flat, the town council in charge of your neighbourhood is responsible for the maintenance of the common areas outside your HDB flat, namely pest control, maintenance of lifts and common corridors, lighting and so on. If you live in a private condominium, there will be a collective management committee (made up of residents) who works with the estate management office (usually engaged by the management committee or the developer of the project) for the day-to-day matters such as waste disposal and maintenance of common areas.

Garbage disposal for residential homes is carried out on a daily basis. If you live in a high-rise building, there is usually a centralized waste disposal area. Most high-rise buildings have built-in rubbish chutes that are accessible either in each unit (usually in the kitchen), or on every level (a shared facility). Recycling is usually collected once a fortnight, depending on where you live. In some high-rise buildings, recycling efforts are collected in a centralized area, so you can bring your recyclables to the bins as and when you have some items to be recycled. If you live in a landed property, you will be issued with a garbage bin and a separate recycling bin. Recycling is highly encouraged in Singapore. More than 6,000 recycling bins are situated throughout the island and schools participate as well.

In 2011, nearly 7 million tons of waste was generated in Singapore. Each individual generated about 1,330 kg of waste in a year. However, the recycling rate for 2011 was 59% and this has been increasing steadily. Still, 41% of Singapore’s waste is disposed of. Much of it goes to the waste-to-energy plants for incineration and energy recovery while some of it is non-incinerable and must go to the Semakau Landfill for landfilling.

Given Singapore’s emphasis on recycling, Zero Waste Singapore has created a website to encourage residents to not only recycle but to reduce and reuse their waste too. Their website has a wide range of information from do-it-yourself projects made from potential waste material to tips on how to cut back on the waste that you create. More information can be found at

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