6 waste management associations ink MoU to boost efforts in Southeast Asia

“The formation of the Alliance is a step in the right direction. It can help raise the standards of waste management,” says Senior Minister of State for the Environment and Water Ministry Dr Amy Khor who witnessed the signing.

SINGAPORE: To boost efforts for greater sustainability in Southeast Asia’s waste management and recycling industry, six waste management associations from the region came together on Thursday (Oct 22) to sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to mark the formation of the Asia Pacific Waste and Environment Alliance (APWEA).

The associations from Singapore, China, India, Indonesia, Malaysia and the Philippines signed the MoU at the third WasteMET Asia Symposium The event was witnessed by Singapore’s Senior Minister of State for the Environment and Water Ministry Dr Amy Khor.

Members of the non-governmental business network will also be using this as a platform to share their knowledge and expertise, while adopting best practices.

Said Dr Khor: “The formation of the Alliance is a step in the right direction. It can help raise the standards of waste management, as well as uncover commercial opportunities in the respective countries.

“This Alliance will allow businesses and other industry members within the region to share their knowledge, technology and other expertise in waste management and recycling, such as option of best practices and raising the standard of professionalism of the industry’s workforce.”

She also said the formation of APWEA is “particularly timely, given the rising role of Asia in today’s environment”. 

Dr Khor added: “With rapid urbanisation and increasing economic growth, we are faced with the challenge of increasing volume and type of waste, and the complexity of managing it. This poses serious risks to our environment and our health, unless we arrest the challenges with innovative and sustainable solutions.”

She brought up the example of Singapore’s land scarcity and warned that if citizens continue generating waste the way they are now, Semakau landfill will run out of space in two decades.

Under the Zero Waste Nation blueprint, the plan is to increase Singapore’s domestic recycling rate from 19 per cent to 30 per cent, and from 76 per cent to 81 per cent in the non-domestic sector. The target is to reach an overall recycling rate of 70 per cent by 2030.

The two-day WasteMET Asia Symposium will see industry players from across the globe discussing the new “3Rs”. They are: Reinventing existing business models and strategies in the waste management and recycling sector; renewing systems and technologies and upskilling staff; and regenerating waste by converting it into a useful resource.

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