Singapore

Schools join fight against food waste

Schools will soon join the National Environment Agency's (NEA) fight to reduce food waste.

The agency issued an invitation yesterday to companies asking for proposals on the leasing, service and maintenance of food-waste recycling machines for 10 schools across the country.

The move is part of a two-year project by NEA to raise awareness about proper food-waste management.

It also aims to encourage schools to reduce the amount of food waste they generate and dispose of, NEA said.

A school with about 1,300 students and teachers produces about 30kg to 55kg of food waste a day.

The recycling machines will be required to convert the discarded food into compost, which can be used to fertilise soil.

NEA said the 10 shortlisted schools - primary, secondary and junior colleges - were chosen based on several factors, including their level of participation in environmental programmes.

As part of the project, the vendor will train the schools' staff members, students and canteen stallholders to separate compostable food waste from rubbish that goes into the landfill, like tissue paper.

Food waste generated in Singapore has increased by almost 50 per cent in the past 10 years, from 542,700 tonnes in 2006 to 785,500 last year.

This is expected to further increase with a growing population and economic activity, NEA said.

"When food is wasted, so are all of the resources used to produce and transport it."

It said the growing amount of food waste puts pressure on Singapore's waste disposal facilities.

Waste Management and Recycling Association of Singapore chairman Melissa Tan said she fully supports the initiative.

The tender will close at 4pm on Dec 23, with the project expected to be launched by the second quarter of next year.

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