SINGAPORE: The Government is studying how it can turn incineration ash into construction material, Environment and Water Resources Minister Masagos Zulkifli said in his Committee of Supply speech in Parliament on Thursday (Mar 7).
"Today, we already have NEWater," he said. "We are working on creating NEWSand. We are studying how we can turn incineration ash into construction material, instead of landfilling it."
Mr Masagos said the National Environment Agency (NEA), which is leading the effort, has developed draft standards for the use of treated ash, such as for building roads.
"NEA has appointed industry players to demonstrate their technologies, with plans to start field trials next year," he added. "We will take careful steps, though, as two-thirds of Singapore is water catchment that must remain free from pollution."
This move is one of Singapore's circular economy strategies to turn trash into "treasure" and extend the lifespan of Semakau Landfill.
The Building and Construction Authority (BCA) has studied how "aggressive agents" in the ash can be contained.
BCA said a patented technology, used in various countries including the United States, Taiwan and Bermuda, is able to recycle the ash into an "aggregate product".
"The aggregate product has been tested to be non-hazardous and is safe for usage in non-structural concrete application," it said on its website, noting that the product has been used in various applications, like shore protection and road construction.
MULTI-STOREY RECYCLING FACILITY
Meanwhile, Mr Masagos also revealed that the Multi-Storey Recycling Facility (MSRF) - another circular economy strategy - is expected to be ready in 2021.
Shenton Wire reported last December that Boustead Projects was awarded a construction contract valued at around S$241.9 million for an MSRF at Kranji Loop.
"The facilities will house multiple recyclers, and be located close to other industries," Mr Masagos said. "This will present opportunities to reuse waste materials and other industrial by-products, thereby closing resource loops at the local level."
The Government has considered constructing the MSRF from as early as 2014, amid rising levels of generated waste.