Singapore's first metal recovery facility to help reduce waste

Since operations began in July 2015, the REMEX Metal Recovery Facility has reduced incineration bottom ash (IBA) by 10 per cent. Singapore's only landfill is expected to run out of space by 2035, but at this rate, its lifespan can now be prolonged.
Ewan Mah Channel NewsAsia 1 Dec 15;

SINGAPORE: The Republic's first-ever metal recovery facility was inaugurated on Tuesday (Dec 1), as part of the National Environment Agency's long-term strategy to become a Zero Waste Nation.

Since operations began in July 2015, the REMEX Metal Recovery Facility in Tuas has reduced incineration bottom ash (IBA) - the ash that is produced from burning waste in an incinerator - by 10 per cent, leading to 10 per cent less waste sent to Semakau Landfill for disposal.

Singapore's only landfill was originally expected to run out of space by 2035, but with the facility, its lifespan can now be prolonged.

About 1,800 tonnes of IBA is processed at the facility each day, and from pieces as small as 2 millimetres, 14,000 tonnes of metal has been recovered so far.

In contrast, magnets installed in Singapore's four incinerators can only pick up pieces 20 centimetres and up, for recycling.

On hand for its inauguration was Minister for the Environment and Water Resources Masagos Zulkifli, who also took a tour of the facility.

"The REMEX Metal Recovery Facility is a critical component of our long-term plan to work towards a Zero Waste Nation, a key theme under the Sustainable Singapore Blueprint 2015, which outlines our plans for a more liveable and sustainable Singapore. The opening of this facility marks a significant milestone in our efforts towards a Zero Waste Nation," he said.

HAZE FROM FOREST FIRES IN INDONESIA HAS TO BE TACKLED

Separately, Mr Masagos also spoke about Singapore's pledge to cut carbon emissions, as world leaders gather in Paris these two weeks to reach a global deal to fight climate change.

He said a problem that has to be tackled is the haze from forest fires in Indonesia, which this year released one gigatonne of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere - the highest amount ever.

"This is frightening because if you look at that amount of emissions, it is almost 20 per cent of the reduction we are trying to commit in 2030 globally. I've requested to meet my counterpart from Indonesia to discuss going forward, how we can work together, particularly to bring the errant companies to task," he said.

- CNA/dl/ms


Metal recovery facility helps to prolong Semakau Landfill’s lifespan
LAURA ELIZABETH PHILOMIN Today Online 1 Dec 15;

SINGAPORE – Since it began operations in July this year, Singapore’s first metal recovery facility has been helping to prolong the lifespan of the Semakau Landfill by recovering metals in ash from incineration plants and reducing its weight by about 10 per cent.

The 1.4-hectare facility near Tuas Marine Transfer Station, operated by REMEX Minerals Singapore (REMEX), is part of the National Environment Agency’s (NEA) long-term strategy to manage solid waste in Singapore more efficiently.

The NEA had awarded the tender to parent company REMEX Mineralstoff last year.

Currently, ferrous metals, such as steel and iron between 10mm and 300mm in size, are being recovered from the incineration bottom ash (IBA) using magnetic separators at the incineration plants, and the remaining ash would usually be disposed off at Semakau Landfill.

At the new facility, IBA is further processed where magnetic and eddy current separators recover ferrous metal as small as 2mm, as well as non-ferrous metal like copper and aluminium. It processes up to 1,800 tonnes of IBA a day, and has recovered nearly 14,000 tonnes of metal since it began operations until the end of October.

Speaking at the opening ceremony of the facility on Tuesday, Environment and Water Resources Minister Masagos Zulkifli noted the Semakau Landfill, Singapore’s only landfill, is expected to run out of space in 2035 at the current rate of waste generation and incineration.

“Hence, it’s important for us to look for ways to reduce the space used by waste disposed by any method, because this is a strategic concern for Singapore. The REMEX Metal Recovery Facility is a critical component of our long-term plan to work towards becoming a Zero Waste Nation and this is a key theme under the Sustainable Singapore Blueprint 2015,” said Mr Masagos.

Speaking to reporters, REMEX Minerals Singapore Managing Director Venkat Patnaik said recovered non-ferrous metals are sold to smelters in other countries such as China and Germany, while ferrous metals are sent to steel mills to be recycled.

The processed ash, which is now almost metal-free, can be used further as materials for roads and construction, he added.


Singapore’s first metal recovery factory has recovered 14,000 tonnes of metal since July
LAURA ELIZABETH PHILOMIN Today Online 1 Dec 15;

SINGAPORE — Since it began operations in July this year, Singapore’s first metal recovery facility has been helping to prolong the lifespan of the Semakau Landfill by recovering metals in ash from incineration plants and reducing its weight by about 10 per cent.

The 1.4-hectare facility in Tuas Marine Transfer Station, operated by REMEX Minerals Singapore (REMEX), is part of the National Environment Agency’s (NEA) long-term strategy to manage solid waste in Singapore more efficiently. The National Environment Agency (NEA) awarded the tender to the parent company REMEX Mineralstoff last year.

Currently, ferrous metals like steel and iron between 10mm and 300mm in size are being recovered from the incineration bottom ash (IBA) using magnetic separators at the incineration plants and the remaining ash would usually be disposed off at Semakau Landfill.

At the new facility, IBA is further processed where magnetic and eddy current separators recover ferrous metal as small as 2mm, as well as non-ferrous metal like copper and aluminium. It processes up to 1,800 tonnes of IBA a day, and has recovered nearly 14,000 tonnes of metal since it began operations, as of end-October.

Speaking at the opening ceremony of the facility today (Dec 1), Minister for the Environment and Water Resources Masagos Zukilifi noted the Semakau Landfill, Singapore’s only landfill, is expected to run out of space in 2035 at the current rate of waste generation and incineration.

“Hence it’s important for us to look for ways to reduce the space used by waste disposed by any method, because this is a strategic concern for Singapore. The REMEX Metal Recovery Facility is a critical component of our long-term plan to work towards becoming a Zero Waste Nation and this is a key theme under the Singapore Sustinable Blueprint 2015,” said Mr Masagos.

Speaking to reporters, REMEX Minerals Singapore Managing Director Venkat Patnaik said recovered non-ferrous metals are sold to smelters in other countries like China and Germany, while ferrous metals are sent to steel mills to be recycled. The processed ash, which is now almost metal-free, can be further used as materials for roads and construction, he added.


Tuas plant extracts metal from burnt trash
Audrey Tan, Straits Times AsiaOne 3 Dec 15;

Singapore's first metal recovery facility - that extracts metals from incinerated rubbish - was opened officially by Minister for the Environment and Water Resources Masagos Zulkifli yesterday.

It is operated by waste-management company Remex Minerals Singapore, which won the tender to build the 1.4ha facility last June.

The facility processes up to 1,800 tonnes of incineration bottom ash (ash from burnt rubbish) daily.

Metals in the ash can make it unsuitable for paving roads or reclaiming land as the metal content is unstable and can break down or react with oxygen and weaken, said Mr Venkat Patnaik, managing director of Remex Minerals Singapore.

The Tuas facility, which began operations in July this year, has salvaged almost 14,000 tonnes of metals such as copper, aluminium and iron as of end October.

The extracted metal can be recycled, and the remaining ash can be further treated for uses such as land reclamation, brick-making, laying road bases or as a substitute for sand and gravel.

This is what is being done in Japan and the Netherlands, said Mr Masagos said in his speech.

Earlier this year, The Straits Times reported that the National Environment Agency (NEA) had embarked on a project to study if incineration bottom ash can be used as land reclamation material.

As part of the study, which began in 2013, the agency is looking at how the ash can affect the marine ecosystem. The NEA has engaged researchers from the Nanyang Technological University (NTU) to do a risk-assessment study.

This will include the development of guidelines on how to use such ash for land reclamation. NTU is working with the Tropical Marine Science Institute as part of the project, which is expected to end next year.

Extracting metals from such ash will also prolong the lifespan of Semakau Landfill, Singapore's only one. The Tuas facility has reduced the weight of incineration ash by 10 per cent.

Both incineration ash and non-incinerable waste are disposed of at the landfill. With Singapore producing more waste, it could be filled up by as early as 2035, a decade earlier than projected in 1993.

"The recovery of precious resources from our waste is in line with plans under the Sustainable Singapore Blueprint's goal of Singapore being a zero-waste nation," said NEA chief executive Ronnie Tay in a statement.

"While we explore innovative solutions to manage our waste more efficiently, we must all strive to make the practice of the 3Rs - recycle, reduce and reuse - as a way of life."

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