Tender For On-Site Food Waste Management Pilot At Hawker Centres Called [Press Release]
18 May 2015 – The National Environment Agency (NEA) today called a tender for a two-year on-site food waste management pilot to be run at Tiong Bahru Market and Ang Mo Kio Block 628 Market. The pilot aims to test the economic viability and operational feasibility of food waste segregation and recycling in hawker centres, as part of government’s effort to move towards being a zero-waste nation.
2 The winning bidder(s) will be required to provide the leasing and maintenance of two on-site food waste recycling machines, which will convert segregated food waste and leftover food from the hawker stalls to either water or compost. The machines are expected to reduce the volume of food waste by at least 90 per cent per day.
3 As part of the process, the company will also be required to provide training and infrastructure for cleaners and stall holders to properly segregate food waste, as well as submit project reports on relevant information for NEA to assess the level of success of the pilot.
4 Tiong Bahru Market and Ang Mo Kio Block 628 Market were chosen for the pilot based on the number and mix of stalls types, and the space available at the hawker centres for the food recycling facilities. It is estimated that the two hawker centres each generates more than one tonne of food waste per day.
5 The tender will open from today, 18 May 2015 and will close at 4pm on 4 Jun 2015. The pilot is expected to be launched in the fourth quarter of 2015.
Background on food waste management pilots
1 Food waste accounts for about 10 per cent of total waste generated, but less than 15 per cent of it is recycled. In 2014, 788,600 tonnes of food waste was generated, of which 101,400 tonnes (13 per cent) was recycled. The rest of the food waste was disposed of at the incineration plants and then landfilled.
2 The amount of food waste generated in Singapore has increased by about 48 per cent over the past 10 years and is expected to rise further in tandem with a larger population and greater affluence. Besides the effort and energy needed to collect and dispose of it, food waste also contaminates recyclables and compromises recycling efforts, and causes odour and pest issues if not managed properly. There is a need to tackle food waste in a holistic way in terms of minimisation, redistribution and recycling.
3 Reducing and recycling of food waste is part of the plans under the Sustainable Singapore Blueprint’s goal to work towards becoming a Zero Waste Nation. Under the Sustainable Singapore Blueprint, we aim to reach an overall recycling rate of 70 per cent by 2030.
Recycling food waste
4 Currently, food waste that is recycled is mainly homogenous food waste from food manufacturers such as spent yeast/grains from beer brewing, soya bean and bread waste. These food wastes are segregated at source and sold to recyclers for conversion into animal feed. In addition, over 20 premises, including hotels and schools, currently segregate their food waste and use on-site food waste treatment machines to convert the food waste into compost for landscaping purposes or water for non-potable use.
Food waste recycling pilots
5 The Ministry of the Environment and Water Resources and NEA will be conducting two types of pilots in 2015 to evaluate cost-effective methods for collecting and processing food waste, through (i) on-site food waste segregation and treatment at hawker centres and (ii) district-level collection of food waste for co-digestion with used water sludge at an off-site treatment facility.
6 The two-year on-site food waste pilot at the hawker centres aims to test the economic viability and operational feasibility of food waste segregation and recycling in hawker centres.
7 The hawker centres will each have an on-site food waste recycling machine which will convert segregated food waste and leftover food from the hawker stalls to either water or compost. As part of the process, NEA will engage the hawker stallholders and table-cleaners and educate them on the proper methods for food waste segregation.
8 The district-level food waste pilot aims to examine the economic viability of district-level food waste collection and off-site treatment at a centralised recycling facility. Source-segregated food waste from the Clementi district – such as from shopping malls, schools, hospitals and office buildings – will be transported to an off-site test facility located at the Ulu Pandan Water Reclamation Plant. The pilot will also assess the feasibility of recovering energy from food waste and used water sludge via anaerobic co-digestion.
 788,600 tonnes of food waste is equivalent to about two bowls of rice per person per day.
 The amount of food waste generated in 2005 was 531,500 tonnes.