Singapore

NEA awards tender for study and design of plastic recovery facility

Singapore has taken another step in its long-term plans to improve its recycling rates and capabilities, particularly its ability to recover more plastic waste.

Last week, the National Environment Agency (NEA) awarded the tender for the feasibility study and design of a pilot plastic recovery facility to engineering company HTP GmbH & Co.

It specialises in the planning and design of waste management and recycling systems.

The feasibility study will help the NEA identify and assess the capacity and design of the facility, as well as the requirements for a suitable site, the agency said.

The study is expected to start soon and be completed by the third quarter of this year.

It will run parallel to a joint study between the NEA and energy company Shell that was announced last October, on the feasibility of chemically recycling waste in Singapore.

The NEA said the plastic recovery facility will take in domestic waste collected from households and trade premises before sorting it and recovering various plastic polymer types. These will be further treated in chemical recycling plants.

"The recovered plastics... can be converted into higher-value products such as pyrolysis oil, which can serve as feedstock for Singapore's petrochemical sector to manufacture new plastics and chemicals," said the NEA.

The facility will also be able to recover suitable polyethylene terephthalate, a type of plastic commonly known as PET, which will be mechanically recycled.

The NEA said there is currently no local facility that recovers contaminated plastics from domestic waste.

Under the current system, recyclables are collected from the blue National Recycling Programme bins at various locations across the island.

The new facility will tap a larger source of waste collected, such as from the green general waste bins in Housing Board estates, thereby reducing the amount of waste sent for incineration and to landfills, said the NEA.

The feasibility study on the facility will propose the technologies and equipment required to recover up to 72,000 tonnes of plastic waste a year for chemical recycling, among other things.

The study will, in addition, determine the cost-effectiveness for the facility to separate and recover non-plastic recyclables, such as paper, metals and glass, the NEA said.

The facility would be "a key enabler in closing the waste loop, especially for plastics", the agency said.

Environment