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Issue Date: 1994
Citation: NOREEN CHANG WEI YI (1994). WASTE DISPOSAL IN SINGAPORE. ScholarBank@NUS Repository.
Abstract: Although urbanization contributes greatly to development and increased standard of living, it has also led to indiscriminate discharge and disposal of waste and effluents. This, in tum serves to contaminate the land, rivers and water bodies giving rise to environmental degradation. The situation is especially critical for a small country like Singapore which has limited resources and whose very environment is a precious commodity. Therefore, all waste - liquid and solid - MUST be safely disposed to minimize the impact on man and environment. This Academic Exercise (AE) sets out to examine the present waste disposal system of non-hazardous solid and liquid waste. This AE discusses the various problems of waste disposal - increasing amounts of waste disposed, non-availability of land for waste disposal sites, negative externalities etc. A substantial amount has been spent by the government in improving the waste disposal facilities in Singapore to minimize negative externalities. However, it is also appropriate to study the efficacy of such methods. In order to get a broader picture of the options available, it is also necessary to look at the experience of other countries. This enables us to consider the feasibility of new methods of dealing with waste disposal in Singapore. Admittedly, this discussion is hampered by the fact that actual cost and benefit figures of these new methods for the case of Singapore is not available, thus rendering an in-depth study impossible. Notwithstanding this, it is hoped that this study would be able to promote greater awareness of the waste management problem and stimulate spontaneous individual action to minimize waste before it is too late. There are basically two ways the government can encourage the general public to minimize daily waste output so that the country can reach the 'golden target' of 0.9 kg: i) Forced minimization of waste by penalizing individuals who dispose more waste. ii) Encourage resource recovery through incentives. Although tradeable permits or the idea to peg the price of waste disposed to the quantity are good methods, they can only be used for the short-term. From this AE it has been realized that no matter what kind of instruments the government use, the long-term solution for Singapore is definitely waste minimzation through resource recovery. However, the possibility of waste utilization should also be considered. Chapter One gives a brief introduction to the present situation of waste disposal in Singapore. Further details on the present waste disposal system in Singapore and a more in-depth discussion is provided in Chapter Two. In Chapter Three, government actions such as building of offshore dumping ground, 'renovation' of the sewers and the "Three Rs" programme will be discussed. It is in Chapter Four that some country studies are done with the evaluation of some new waste disposal methods. The primary concern of economists is on the optimal allocation of scarce resources. Hence, the future of the source of these resources - the planet Earth - must thus be an equally significant concern. For it is from this that world concerns like famine, earthquakes, thinning of the ozone layer, deforestation, global warming and a host of other problems spring.
Appears in Collections:Bachelor's Theses

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