Pardon our 3 month-long hiatus on updates here. Not only has my 5-year-old laptop almost starting to wheeze its last breath amongst frequent screen hangups with a bloated battery, Joe and I are nicely caught up in the whirls of marriage preparation. 😉
Anyway, I couldn’t resist typing an entry, even though I’m supposed to be doing something else. Perhaps as you read on, you might understand why I’m distracted.
I happened to chance upon ZeroWasteSG’s Infographic on Singapore Waste Statistics 2011. Once again, they did a terrific job on summarising all the statistical mumbo jumbo into a clear, concise and attractive infographic below:
What got me breathing through my ears were these:
Paper/Cardboard makes up the largest percentage of waste generated, and yet remains the second highest being disposed (i.e. incinerated or landfilled). Even in the privacy of my work corner, I couldn’t help but to wonder aloud ‘why’. It’s pretty much a no-brainer to most of us that these are the easiest and most possible to recycle. A straight forward way would be to probably dump them deep in soil where they will very quickly turn back into soil and fertiliser all by themselves. Garden organisms love them, surrounding foliage will thank you for them.
Food Waste is the top 5th amount of waste generated in Singapore, and yet it is the second highest percentage being disposed. Oh, such a precious resource still erroneously being regarded as useless, conveniently burnt or dumped, further contributing to heightening environmental woes. One of the simplest ways to “get rid” of them would be through Bokashi composting – which is quick, odourless, very easy and cheap! And yes, you will get rich fertiliser in return. Also, it works for all types of food waste.
Horticulture Waste is also another extremely precious resource and material for composting back into rich soil and fertiliser. Yet a significant amount and percentage are also being disposed so wastefully (pun intended). It’s almost akin to going through a forest every single day, year after year, just to pick up all the fallen leaves and fallen plants to burn or dump off somewhere else to keep the forest “clean”. Why force open the carbon loop when it naturally closes all by itself?
And *gasp*… plastic is the top type of waste to be disposed… still? I thought plastics can be recycled easily? I’m confused, perhaps I’m missing something.
On a more positive note, construction debris and related materials such as ferrous metal are consistently being recycled. Yes, it makes complete financial, economical and common sense in the industry, and I guess it’s laudable that the 100% effort’s there.
Lastly, it almost pains me to see that food waste remains as one of the bottom three types of waste to be least recycled. So much can honestly come out of food waste, not forgetting plastics, horticulture waste, paper and cardboard. Why do they remain one of the low (if not lowest) priorities? The common thread amongst all these? They can be composted (except plastics, unless they’re made biodegradable from the start).
It is still our hope and prayer that soon our beloved country will see that the aforementioned “wastes” are like precious gold. Lots of money can come out of it – literally. And we can enjoy inevitable fruits such as: a preserved landfill that doesn’t affect our children’s children, cleaner and fresher air, less consumption of fuel or energy just to incinerate those precious “wastes”, a new and more meaningful way of life.
Why not turn our common language of “throw throw throw” and “burn burn burn” into “aaaah… nice, sweet fresh air” or “our vegetables, fruits and plants have become cheaper, bigger, fresher and sweeter”.
Wouldn’t that be better? 🙂