Environmental Conservation is one of the top agendas of the Singapore Government. Innovation efforts are made for finding alternative methods to carry out necessary processes while being environmentally friendly at the same time.
NEWSand is one such innovation that has been produced from municipal solid waste. It could potentially be used as a construction material as well.
The Ministry of the Environment and Water Resources (MEWR) will be conducting a field trial to assess the real-life performance of NEWSand materials created from incineration bottom ash (IBA) and slag.
IBA is a thicker and heavier part of incinerated ash and slag is the by-product of the gasification of solid waste.
Minister for the Environment and Water Resources Masagos Zulkifli said that NEWSand is a product of Singapore’s aim to develop a vital resource from waste.
He added that NEWSand will aid Singapore in closing its waste loop and increasing the lifespan of Semakau Island, which is the landfill of Singapore.
NEWSand has been tested in the laboratory for its possible uses, based on local environmental standards.
“These standards are more comprehensive than those of other countries, given our unique circumstances as one of the few countries in the world to harvest urban stormwater on a large scale for consumption,” said Mr Masagos, at a lunch event which signified the end of the Year Towards Zero Waste, which began in January this year.
Some of its current implementations include the use of NEWSand made from slag in the construction of a temporary 105m-long footpath at Our Tampines Hub and a 3D-printed concrete bench.
The bench is a product of the collaboration between the National Environment Agency (NEA) and the local technology company Pan-United Corporation.
NEA has announced that a second 24m-long footpath will be constructed in front of the Environment Building, in early 2020.
A field test using NEWSand material produced from IBA will also be conducted at a stretch of Tanah Merah Coast Road, around mid-2020.
This field test will be carried out by the three companies; Inashco B.V., REMEX Mineral Singapore and Zerowaste Asia.
Around 3,000 tonnes of IBA generated from the Waste-to-Energy Plants in Singapore will be collected and treated for use as a road base or sub-base material in road construction projects.
NEA said that it is crucial to keep in mind that as two-thirds of Singapore holds water catchment areas, NEWSand must come with strict environmental standards to ensure that the material can be used anywhere but without affecting Singapore’s water resources and environment.
Mr Masagos has called out to companies to adopt the use of repurposed municipal waste.
He also encouraged companies to innovate in this area and to work closely with the government for creating “environmentally sustainable and beautiful products with NEWSand”.
It was announced by the Senior Minister of State for the Environment and Water Resources, Amy Khor, in August this year that Singapore aims to send one-third less waste to the landfill by 2030.
This is towards efforts of conserving that land that has been projected to be filled by 2035.
NEA chief executive Tan Meng Dui said that the NEWSand is a step forward in Singapore’s goal towards being a zero-waste nation.