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Metal recovery facility helps to prolong Semakau Landfill’s lifespan

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.

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.

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