Food waste accounts for about 12 per cent of the total waste generated in Singapore.
Economic activities picked up in 2021, as compared to Covid-impacted 2020, resulting in more waste generated and recycled. The total amount of food waste generated in 2021 was 817,000 tonnes, which was 23 per cent more than the 665,000 tonnes generated in 2020. While the amount of food waste generated increased, the amount of food waste recycled also increased and hence the recycling rate for food waste remained at 19 per cent.
The table below shows the statistics on the amount of food waste Disposed of, Recycled and Generated in the past 5 years:
||Food Waste Disposed of
|Food Waste Recycled
|Total Food Waste Generated
|Recycling Rate (%)
It is often overlooked that food waste that is not drained of from plastic food packaging will contaminate other recyclables in the blue recycling bins and end up compromising the recycling outcomes (dirty recyclables are usually of little value to recycle). It may also give rise to odour nuisance issues and even vermin proliferation if not managed properly or in a timely manner. Therefore, there is a need to manage food waste holistically. Reducing food wastage, redistributing unsold or excess food, and recycling/treating food waste are important components of our national waste management strategies to work towards Singapore becoming a Zero Waste Nation. The diagram below shows Singapore’s food waste management hierarchy, in order of priorities, with the first priority being to prevent food waste from being generated.
Food waste management hierarchy
Resource Sustainability Act (RSA)
A landmark Resource Sustainability Act (RSA) was enacted in October 2019 to give legislative effect to new measures to address our priority waste streams. The requirements relating to food waste are:
- From 2021: Developers of new large commercial and industrial premises to allocate and set aside space for on-site food waste treatment systems in their design plans.
- From 2024: Large commercial and industrial food waste generators will have to segregate their food waste for treatment.
More information on the Resource Sustainability Act is available here.
The types of prescribed premises and corresponding thresholds of the prescribed premises subjected to the mandatory segregation requirements are summarised in the table below.
|Types of Premises ||Threshold ||Exemptions |
|Shopping Malls ||F&B Area ||> 3,000 sqm ||NA |
|Hotels||F&B and Function Area ||> 3,000 sqm ||NA |
|Single-user Factory |
|Large Food Manufacturers ||Operation area > 750 sqm ||Manufacturers of spices, dried foodstuffs, additives, bottled water, high pressure processing |
|Multi-user Factory (MUFs) ||GFA and food tenants ||GFA > 20,000 sqm and with > 20 food tenants ||NA |
|At least one large food manufacturer||Operation area > 750 sqm ||Manufacturers of spices, dried foodstuffs, additives, bottled water, high pressure processing |
Please visit the sub-pages below for further information on our strategic approaches: