The National Environment Agency (NEA) has awarded the new public waste collection contract for the Clementi-Bukit Merah sector to SembWaste Pte. Ltd. (SembWaste). SembWaste is an established Public Waste Collector (PWC) in Singapore. The current contract for public waste collection in the Clementi-Bukit Merah sector will expire on 31 December 2020. As the appointed PWC, SembWaste will provide refuse and recyclables collection services to domestic and trade premises in this sector from 1 January 2021 to 31 December 2027.
The Clementi-Bukit Merah sector covers the Radin Mas SMC and Tanjong Pagar GRC, and parts of the West Coast, Jurong, Holland-Bukit Timah and Jalan Besar GRCs. There are about 184,000 premises – comprising 172,000 households and 12,000 trade premises, the latter including hawker and market stalls, shops, places of worship, and government buildings.
As part of transformation efforts in the waste management industry, NEA encourages the use of innovative concepts and technologies to improve productivity and sustainability in the collection of refuse and recyclables in our public tenders for the PWCs.
SembWaste’s key PWC initiatives
Digitalisation and automation
SembWaste will deploy technologies with Internet of Things (IoT) attributes to capture real-time information on the amount of refuse and recyclables collected and generate fault alerts for quick recovery. The IoT features will also automatically detect and raise alarms of fires in refuse storage systems such as stationary and mobile compactors. These enhancements will be integrated into SembWaste’s One Dashboard, a smart waste management system housed at its Operations Command and Control Centre. The system will support the centralisation of SembWaste’s fleet management and surveillance capabilities. This will enable SembWaste to further raise productivity by optimising collection frequency and routes based on the data received and analysed in One Dashboard on bin fill status, traffic conditions and waste disposal patterns.
Innovative and productive technologies
A new fleet of collection trucks will be introduced for refuse, recyclables and garden waste. This includes 10 electric vehicles (EVs), or almost a quarter of the fleet, which will be used for refuse collection. In addition to deploying EVs and higher capacity rear-end loaders within the new fleet, SembWaste will be rolling out ergonomic trucks, such as the Econic, for better worker comfort and to improve safety. These trucks are fitted with a two-step low entry cabin which makes getting in and out of the truck much easier and safer. The trucks will come with four external cameras so that the areas around the truck are easily visible to the driver via a display in the driver cabin. This reduces blind spots to a minimum. (Refer to Annex A for photos of the Econic rear-end loader refuse collection truck.)
In addition, a quarter of the recycling truck fleet will be fitted with side-loaders, which enables higher capacity collection using 2,200L side-loader recycling bins, instead of the usual 660L recycling bins in HDB estates, and with a smaller collection crew. This enhances productivity and also reduces the overall carbon footprint with the lower number of collection rounds and truck trips.
A key sustainability initiative by SembWaste is its ‘ezi’ recycling platform. The ezi’ platform comes with a mobile application that was first piloted within a residential zone in Woodlands in November 2019, and is currently in use in the City-Punggol and Woodlands-Yishun sectors. Residents in Clementi-Bukit Merah will be able to tap on the ‘ezi’ mobile application to locate the nearest Cash-For-Trash stations as well as access recycling tips, educational games and information on upcoming recyclables collection events. SembWaste will continue its active partnerships via ‘ezi’ with other recyclers to increase the overall recycling engagement outreach to residents while optimising cost and productivity efficiencies. (Refer to Annex B for photos of the ‘ezi’ application interface.)
SembWaste will also progressively pilot several innovative technologies as a proof of concept to improve the environmental sustainability performance of waste management operations across the Clementi-Bukit Merah sector. For instance, SembWaste is exploring a trial to collect recyclables from private landed estates using smaller electric trucks or buggies. These electric buggies will be able to better manoeuvre narrow lanes, enhancing public safety and reducing carbon emissions. The recyclables collected by the buggies will be transferred into bigger rear-end loader trucks which are painted blue to indicate that they are recycling trucks.
SembWaste will also provide on-site food waste treatment systems at 20 Ghim Moh Road Market and Food Centre, Chinatown Complex Market and Food Centre and Redhill Food Centre to treat food waste generated at these premises. These three centres were selected as they are large centres with sufficient space to house a food waste treatment system, and large enough food waste generated to reap economies of scale in the provision of the food waste treatment system. The food waste collected from these premises will be converted into compost or non-potable water, thereby reducing the amount of food waste sent to incineration plants for disposal.
Refuse Collection Fees
NEA has completed a review of the household refuse collection fees, and there will be no change in fees for the next period from 1 January 2021 to 31 December 2021. Households living in HDB flats and condominiums that have not opted out of the public waste collection scheme, as well as landed homes in all sectors of Singapore, will continue paying the same monthly household refuse collection fees of $8.25 and $27.47 (both fees inclusive of GST), respectively. The next review will be carried out in 2021, for the period from 1 January 2022.
As for trade premises, SembWaste will write to premises and business owners to inform them of their new refuse collection fees, which will depend on their daily refuse output. Owners of trade premises can also call SembWaste’s toll-free number 1800-278-6135 or email [email protected] for more information on the latest refuse collection fees.
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The Econic Rear-End Loader Refuse Collection Truck
Mercedes Econic rear-end loader refuse collection truck
Photo credit: The National Environment Agency (NEA)
SembWaste’s ‘EZI’ Mobile Application
Photo credit: SembWaste Pte. Ltd. (SembWaste)