Hazardous Waste

Toxic Waste Control

Overview of management of toxic industrial waste

The handling, transportation, treatment and disposal of toxic industrial waste are controlled under the Environmental Public Health (Toxic Industrial Waste) Regulations. The list of controlled toxic industrial wastes can be found in the Schedule of the Regulations.

Under the Regulations, all toxic industrial waste collectors must be licensed. The transport of toxic industrial waste in quantities exceeding those stipulated in the Schedule requires a transport approval.

Hard copies of the Environmental Public Health (Toxic Industrial Waste) Regulations can be purchased at SNP Corporation Ltd, Legal Publishing located at 1 Kim Seng Promenade #18-01/06, Great World City East Tower (Call 68269691).

More details can be found in the Management of Toxic Industrial Waste [PDF, 155.56 KB] information paper.

You may wish to download the list of toxic industrial waste and PVC waste collectors [PDF, 557.16 KB].

Application for toxic industrial waste collector licence

The Environmental Public Health (Toxic Industrial Waste) Regulations require all authorised toxic waste collectors to be licensed. The licence for the collection of toxic waste will be issued on condition that:

  1. The toxic waste treatment, storage and disposal facility owned by the collector is in a suitable industrial area outside water catchment;
  2. The types and quantities of toxic wastes are commensurate with the treatment processes and disposal facilities;
  3. Adequate measures such as containment areas, leak detection and warning devices, proper emergency action plans, neutralising agents, handling gear, absorbent material, etc. are provided to prevent and mitigate any accidental release of the toxic wastes;

Incinerator complies with NEA’s guidelines for a special waste incinerator [PDF, 165.86 KB].

Holders of toxic waste collector licences are required to keep records of toxic wastes they have collected, stored, treated and disposed of. They are required to store, process, treat and dispose of toxic wastes at approved premises and in accordance with standards and practices acceptable to the National Environment Agency. They are also required to submit emergency response plans for dealing with any accidental release of toxic wastes if large quantities of wastes are stored on their premises. 

For the submission of toxic industrial waste returns via Licenceone, please use the TIW Returns Submission Template

Application

For more details on the above requirements, please go to requirements for toxic industrial waste collectors. [PDF, 83.91 KB]

To apply for toxic industrial waste collector licence, companies can submit the application form electronically via https://licence1.business.gov.sg.

Application for transport approval

The transportation of toxic wastes in an amount exceeding quantities prescribed in the Environmental Public Health (Toxic Industrial Waste) Regulations requires a written approval from the Chemical Control and Management Department (CCMD). For prescribed quantities for transportation, please see the Schedule

A Transport Approval is given subject to the following conditions:

  1. The containers conveying the toxic wastes must be designed and tested in accordance with an acceptable code of practice;
  2. The routes used must be approved;
  3. The transportation is restricted to be carried out during day time;
  4. An adequate emergency action plan must be put up to deal with any accidental release of the toxic wastes.

The codes of practice accepted by CCMD are recognised international standards, such as the European Agreement on the International Carriage of Dangerous Goods by Road (ADR), the United Nations Recommendations on the Transport of Dangerous Goods and the International Maritime Dangerous Goods Code.    

Online application for Transport Approval to transport toxic industrial waste must be supported by information as required under the document requirement for Transport Approval [PDF, 347.89 KB] and Annex E [XLSX, 18.16 KB].     

The transportation of toxic industrial waste will require drivers to possess a Hazardous Materials Transportation Driver Permit (HTDP) issued by SCDF. For more information on the HTDP and related courses, please refer to here.

A trip-ticket system monitors the movement of toxic wastes between generators and licensed collectors. Under the system, generators of toxic industrial wastes are required to put up consignment notes for every transportation of toxic industrial wastes exceeding the quantities stipulated in the Schedule.

Written permission for disposal at dumping ground

Solid residues such as sludge from wastewater treatment facilities and fly ash from waste incinerators may contain toxic contaminants such as heavy metals. Such wastes must be treated to comply with leachate test standards before disposing of at an approved landfill site.

Application for written permission to dispose of such wastes must be accompanied by a recent report of analytical results from leachate tests carried out on the wastes. The report must be from a SAC-SINGLAS accredited laboratory. For the list of SAC-SINGLAS accredited organisations, please refer to https://www.sac-accreditation.gov.sg/accredited-org/. Please write in to nea_wmlicence@nea.gov.sg for application for written permission for disposal of wastes at the dumping ground.

Leaching test - Recommended acceptance criteria for suitability of industrial wastes for landfill disposal [PDF, 6.6 KB]

Disposal of asbestos wastes at dumping ground

Anyone who undertakes work involving asbestos is required to notify the Chief Inspector of Factories by submitting the Notification of Process Involving Asbestos form to the Occupational Safety and Health Division of Ministry of Manpower, at least seven days before the commencement of such work. For more information regarding the handling/removal of asbestos material, you may contact MOM, Occupational Safety and Health Division at 64385122 or visit MOM’s website through here.

Contractors who are responsible in removing the asbestos wastes/debris, should engage a NEA-licensed asbestos disposal company to clear and transport the asbestos wastes to Semakau Landfill. These licensed disposal companies own barges and have the expertise in handling and barging the asbestos safely to Semakau Landfill.

You may wish to download the list of NEA-licensed asbestos wastes contractors. Guidelines on the transportation and disposal of asbestos waste can be found here.

Control of biohazardous wastes or toxic wastes from healthcare institutions and facilities

Wastes from the healthcare institutions and facilities include infectious waste, pathological waste, contaminated sharps, routine clinical waste, cytotoxic waste, radioactive waste, pharmaceutical waste, chemical waste and general waste.

Infectious waste, pathological waste, contaminated sharps and other contaminated waste from treatment areas are considered as biohazardous wastes which need special handling and disposal. Infectious waste, in addition, will need pre-treatment before it is disposed of as biohazardous waste.

Contaminated mercury-containing waste such as contact amalgam (i.e. amalgam that has been in contact with the patient) that are classified as biohazardous waste should be properly segregated from general waste and toxic industrial waste such as chemical waste. Prior to the disposal of contact amalgam, generators should inform the appointed licensed hospital waste contractors of the presence of mercury in the biohazardous waste so that appropriate measures can be taken to ensure the collection, treatment and disposal of such biohazardous waste meets the environmental requirements. Uncontaminated mercury-containing waste such as non-contact amalgam or unused pre-capsulated amalgam (scrap) and empty amalgam capsules should be kept separate from other chemical waste and be disposed of as toxic industrial waste.

Biohazardous wastes are required to be disposed of by licensed hospital waste contractors.

Classification of biohazardous wastes [PDF, 6.26 KB]

Colour-coded disposal bags are used in hospitals to segregate wastes that need special handling and disposal. Yellow bags are used for biohazardous wastes. Purple and red bags are used for cytotoxic and radioactive wastes respectively. For general waste, black disposal bags are used.

Used syringes with attached needles are discarded as one unit in a designated and properly labelled plastic sharps container. When the container is full, it is securely closed and disposed of in the large yellow bag provided at the utility / disposal room.

Pharmaceutical wastes are further classified into general pharmaceutical waste such as vitamin tablets, paracetamol tablets, creams and ointments etc, and special pharmaceutical waste such as antibiotics, vaccines, other immunological products, and controlled drugs such as cocaine. Only special pharmaceutical waste needs special disposal by incineration. General pharmaceutical waste can be disposed of as general refuse.

Generators of medical/dental waste and appointed licensed hospital waste disposal contractors should establish proper procedures to eliminate or reduce hazards associated with the management of such waste, including disposal, to safeguard public health and the environment.

At present, there are six licensed hospital waste disposal contractors. They are M/s Aroma Chemical Pte Ltd, M/s Cramoil Singapore Pte Ltd, M/s ECO Special Waste Management Pte Ltd, M/s Asia Medical Enviro Services Pte Ltd, M/s Modern Asia Environmental Holdings Pte Ltd and M/s NSL OilChem Waste Management Pte Ltd. They operate a fleet of totally enclosed trucks to provide collection and transportation of biohazardous waste. All six contractors have dedicated hospital waste incinerators to incinerate biohazardous and used cytotoxic wastes from the healthcare institutions and facilities.

Control of tanker cleaning activities and the disposal of sludge and slop oil

Since 4 April 1993, Singapore implemented a scheme to tighten control on tanker cleaning activities and the disposal of sludge and slop oil generated from tanker cleaning activities. Under the scheme, the Maritime and Port Authority (MPA) of Singapore will issue permits only to registered tanker cleaning contractors [PDF, 112.64 KB]. These contractors are registered with NEA to carry out tanker cleaning activities in designated areas.

To register as a tanker cleaning contractor, please submit your application via FormSG at https://form.gov.sg/5f644f018b6335001134facc with effect from 28 March 2022. For enquiries on application, please call 67319061.

Electronic consignment note system (e-tracking)

Under the Environmental Public Health (Toxic Industrial Waste) Regulations, all consignees have to prepare consignment notes when transporting or consigning for transport of any toxic industrial waste in an amount exceeding the quantities specified in the third column of the Schedule.

Since 25 February 2002, the electronic consignment note system, e-Tracking, was launched to gradually replace the manual consignment note system. On 5 August 2019, the new Waste & Resource Management System (WRMS) was introduced to replace the existing e-Tracking system. The WRMS aims to streamline business processes and operations through digitalisation and automation to increase efficiency, maintainability and resiliency. 

To log into e-Tracking, please go to Waste & Resource Management System (WRMS) and select "Toxic Industrial Waste e-Tracking". You will need a CorpPass to access the WRMS. For more information on CorpPass and to apply for one, please visit www.corppass.gov.sg.

You may download the User Guide once you have logged into the WRMS e-Tracking system. For general enquires on WRMS e-tracking system, you may wish to refer to the e-tracking FAQs for help. You may also download the e-Tracking User Guide for TIW Generator [PDF, 3.04 MB] and User Guide for Collector [PDF, 1.89 MB]  here.

For any enquiries related to the WRMS e-Tracking system, you may contact us at nea_pcd_tw@nea.gov.sg.

Circular economy practices adopted by toxic industrial waste collectors

As Singapore prepares for an increasingly carbon- and resource-constrained future with limited space for waste disposal, a wider adoption of circular economy approaches, i.e. where resources are used over and over again and waste is designed out of the system, is crucial. The table below features several circular economy practices in the toxic industrial waste management sector.

List of circular economy practices adopted by toxic industrial waste collectors
Cramoil Singapore Pte Ltd1. Recovering solvent waste
  • Cramoil has been working with waste generators to segregate toxic waste to allow for more efficient solvent recovery. About 98% of waste solvents collected from Cramoil's customers are recovered.
2. Recovering treated wastewater
  • Since 2018, Cramoil has adopted a Zero-Waste policy on the water discharge to the public sewage.
    • Treated wastewater recovered from Cramoil's wastewater treatment plant is used at their incineration plant for scrubbing purposes.
    • Cramoil uses only re-circulated and treated wastewater from their water treatment plant.
    • Approximately 1170 tons of water per month is saved via Cramoil;s water conservation efforts.
3. Reducing reliance on diesel
  • Cramoil uses high calorific value solvents which are recycled from the distillation plant to fire and heat up their incineration plant.
4. Recovering natural resources and plastics
  • Cramoil collects about 1500 metal drums a month, all of which are treated for reuse.
  • Smaller metal containers are shredded and treated for further refining and smelting by metal treatment companies.
  • Cramoil also segregates small pails and bottles, washes, and then shreds them into smaller plastic pellets for recycling.
  • Materials containing metal constituents such as copper, zinc and aluminium are segregated and shredded (if necessary) for downstream enrichment by smelting companies.
5. Recovering heat energy
  • Heat from Cramoil's incineration process is used to convert water into steam for drum washing and other distillation processes.
 Source: Cramoil Singapore
Please email to claire_chan@nea.gov.sg and ahmad_khairi_hosni@nea.gov.sg if you wish to feature circular economy practices adopted by toxic industrial waste collectors on the NEA website.