General waste disposal facilities to be licensed from August

Channel NewsAsia 11 Jul 17;

SINGAPORE: The National Environment Agency (NEA) on Tuesday (Jul 11) said it will start licensing general waste disposal facilities from August.

These facilities are defined as those that receive, store, process or treat general waste and include recycling facilities, and NEA said there are more than 300 of these in Singapore. As the volume of waste being disposed of continues to increase, the new licensing requirement will enhance the existing regulatory framework to safeguard public health and environment, it added in its press release.

Under the licensing framework, facilities will be licensed to receive certain types of waste and they will be required to show they have the appropriate equipment to process the waste. This will ensure that the waste received is properly treated, NEA said.

They will also be required to have proper storage systems and comply with the approved storage limits stipulated in their licence. These measures will help mitigate dust, vector and odour nuisance, as well as any potential fire risks, the agency pointed out.

NEA may inspect licensed facilities and require licensees to take corrective actions if operations at their facilities might affect public health or cause environmental problems.

Licensees that contravene the licence conditions can be fined up to S$10,000 under the Environmental Public Health (General Waste Disposal Facilities) regulations, it said.

The agency will start accepting applications from Aug 1, and all owners/operators have until Jul 31, 2018, to obtain the licence or submit an exemption declaration, if applicable. Those who establish or operate a disposal facility without the necessary licence or exemption declaration approval can be fined up to S$50,000 and/or jailed up to 12 months under the Environmental Public Health Act.

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