PUB Converts Your Poop And Food Waste Into Energy

One man’s trash is another man’s treasure.

Singapore’s Public Utilities Board (PUB) and the National Environment Agency (NEA) turns this adage into reality by converting excrement – aka your poop – and food waste into energy.

This is part of an effort to bring Singapore closer to a Year of Zero Waste.

From poop to biogas to energy

Every day, trucks carrying food waste and excrement arrive at PUB’s treatment facility in Old Toh Tuck Road.

The loads are mixed and put through a process called “anaerobic digestion”. The process breaks down the mixture and in the process, produces biogas, which is then used for generating heat and electricity.

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Previously, the excrement and food waste were put into separate digestion tanks. But the agencies got the idea of mixing and putting them in the same tank — and to their surprise, found doing so produces 3 times more biogas.

Year of Zero Waste

2019 is to be Singapore’s Year of Zero Waste.

One way of getting there is recycling our waste — turning them into something useful so our energy plants can be more self-sufficient.

There is also another reason why this pursuit of zero-waste is so important. Our landfills are starting to fill up. At the rate we are producing waste, our main landfill, Semakau Landfill, will run out of space by 2035.

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Doing our part to help

In 2017, around 800,000 tonnes of food waste was generated, out of which only 16% was recycled. To give you some perspective, that amount of waste is equal to the weight of about 3,500 MRT trains.

While there are sophisticated machines to help us ‘recycle’ our waste, they are still far from perfect efficiency.

We should therefore do our part and help reduce our waste — food waste, since we can’t exactly control the amount of excrement we produce. Then, we will actually be closer to a Zero Waste Nation.

Featured image from ECO.