SINGAPORE: The National Environment Agency (NEA) launched a S$1.76 million food waste fund on Thursday (May 7) as part of its efforts to tackle climate change.
The fund aims to help organisations subsidise the cost of installing food waste treatments solutions. Capped at S$100,000 per applicant, it will cover the capital cost of waste treatment systems, accompanying equipment like bin lifters and any improvements to existing infrastructure.
Companies, non-profit organisations and condominium management bodies can apply for it between May 18, 2020 and Feb 28, 2021. The fund will be disbursed in two stages; the first half will be paid out once the system is installed and running.
From 2024, owners and operators of premises that generate large amounts of food waste will be required to segregate their food waste for treatment, it noted. This fund is aimed at helping them adopt food waste segregation and treatment methods ahead of the mandatory requirements.
In its media release, NEA said organisations can also tap on the fund to set up a system that converts food waste into products such as animal feed.
Food waste is one of the three priority waste streams under Singapore’s Zero Waste Masterplan, NEA said.
Singapore has made “good progress” in reducing food waste, with the amount of food waste disposed of in 2019 being one of the lowest in recent years, while the food waste recycling rate increased to an all-time high of 18 per cent, NEA said.
“However, more needs to be done as food waste still accounts for about 10 per cent of the total waste generated in Singapore and its recycling rate remains relatively low.”
Food that is not recycled is disposed of at waste-to-energy plants, which is unsustainable in the long-term, the agency said, adding that food waste can also contaminate recyclables and compromise recycling efforts.