Singapore To Turn Waste Into Construction Material
Nov 26, 2019

Singapore has launched a trial of turning municipal solid waste into construction material for footpaths and roads, the city state’s minister for environment and water resources, Masagos Zulkifli, said at a press conference on November 25.

The project, called NEWSand, follows another, NEWater, a successful water recycling programme launched in 2003 tp turn wastewater into drinking water through filtering and purifying processes.

NEWSand is a cement-like substance generated from incineration bottom ash, the thicker and heavier component of incinerated ash, and that created from slag, the by-product of the gasification of solid waste.

“Through science and technology, we have found a way to convert residue from waste incineration into useful construction material, which we call NEWSand. Like NEWater, NEWSand is born out of our drive to overcome constraint and to create a precious resource from waste,” Zulkifli said, adding that the project is also aimed at prolonging the life of Singapore’s fast-filling landfill sites.

Three companies will be commissioned to collect and treat around 3,000 tonnes of incinerated bottom ash generated from waste-to-energy plants in Singapore for use as a road base or sub-base material in road construction projects.

Zulkifli said that Singapore will also look into using NEWSand in other ways, including for 3D-printing of street furniture such as benches or bus stations.

NEWSand has already been used twice: to construct a 105-meter temporary concrete footpath linking Our Tampines Hub to the Darul Ghufran Mosque in the Tanah Merah neighbourhood on the southeastern coast of Singapore, as well as a 3D-printed concrete bench model created in collaboration with local industry player Pan-United Corporation. These are also plans to build a second 24-meter footpath outside the Environment Building in early 2020.