Singapore creates pneumatic waste conveyance districts

Singapore has increased its commitment to pneumatic waste conveyance systems (PWCS) after Parliament passed changes to the Environmental Public Health Act in a move that will now see the technology rolled out district-wide as opposed to on a development-by-development basis.

The changes give Singapore the power to designate entire areas District Pneumatic Waste Conveyance System (DPWCS) ‘zones’, whereby owners and occupiers located within the zone must use the system.

Instead of having bin centres in each development, a district system can now share a central collection station. According to estimates by Singapore’s National Environment Agency, a development with 1,000 dwelling units that would no longer need a bin centre would save space equivalent to one five-room flat.

The ruling comes just over six months since the country made PWCS mandatory in new non-landed developments with at least 500 dwellings.

Jeffrey Seow, Managing Director at Envac Singapore, comments: “This is hugely positive news, not just for PWCS as a whole, but also for those living in and around areas that have been designated DPWCS zones. As a result of reduced waste collection traffic, which is made possible by having a central district waste collection centre, entire local environments will become much cleaner and safer. From the perspective of the developer, they will now be able to use the space saved to build more residential units and generate additional revenue, without having to worry about designing in space for bin storage areas.”

Kampong Bugis, a subzone within the planning area of Kallang, will be the first development to become a DPWCS zone.

Dr Amy Khor, Senior Minister of State, Environment & Water Resources, says: “The Ministry of National Development is providing a temporary grant to Town Councils to help offset costs until the PWCS in the industry attains economies of scale. In addition, Town Councils will enjoy savings from the PWCS due to the reduced manpower requirement for refuse collection and cleaning.”

There are currently over 100 private residential developments in Singapore connected to PWCS, many of which are Envac, including public housing developments in Punggol, Woodlands, Bidadari, Sengkang, Toa Payoh and Tengah.

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