Material Flow Analysis & City Blueprint Framework ReCirc Singapore

The project will establish a clear picture of performance and bottlenecks, the main social, environmental and financial aspects, and material flows in relation to, for example, food waste, plastic, the water cycle and incineration bottom ash in Singapore by comparison with the Netherlands. The result will be the identification of technological and other business opportunities for Dutch organisations in Singapore in the areas of treatment and re-use.

Problem Analysis

Singaporean Ministries and governmental agencies are currently developing a shared vision about the best way forward for a circular economy in Singapore in addition to the Sustainable Singapore Blueprint. They are looking for support from the Netherlands because of our internationally recognised position as a frontrunner in this field.

Moreover, there are clear similarities between Singapore and the Netherlands. Both countries have limited natural resources and land space, they are densely built, and have ageing populations. There is therefore pressure on liveability and productivity. An understanding of water resources and waste flows constitutes an important step towards a circular economy.

However, a clear picture of Integrated Water Resources Management (IWRM) performance and material/waste flows (food and plastic), and a comparison with the Dutch situation, are not yet available. Information of this kind will help Singapore to address its challenges in relation to the circular economy and waste management.

That information will also help to identify business opportunities for Dutch companies. ReCirc Singapore focuses on a few circular-economy pillars. A material flow analysis is currently missing and it will help to determine potential projects. Dutch governmental agencies, knowledge institutes and companies have established a unique partnership to work on creating circular solutions in the Partners for Business programme Recirc Singapore.

Project objective

The aim is to develop a single integrated, sustainable zero-waste solution with Singaporean partners. The ReCirc partnership aims to further the transition from a linear to a circular economy, not just in Singapore and the Netherlands but also worldwide. The objective is to promote innovative entrepreneurship and business opportunities for Singaporean and Dutch companies, targeting topics related to resource recovery from waste and used water:

  • resource recovery from waste water and sludge
  • food waste systems
  • incinerated bottom ash
  • plastic waste
  • integrated sustainable zero-waste solutions

A fully updated Trends and Pressures Framework (TPF) and a City Blueprint Framework (CBF) will be developed to provide the relevant information that is needed. The TPF will summarise the main social, environmental and financial aspects on which cities have hardly any influence, whereas the CBF provides a clear overview of IWRM performance and its bottlenecks in municipalities and regions. The CBF indicators break down into the following seven categories: water quality, solid waste treatment, basic water services, wastewater treatment, infrastructure, climate robustness and governance. An overview of material flows will be instrumental for the identification of opportunities in the area of the circular economy, which is already developing in promising ways in the Netherlands, allowing for demonstration and implementation opportunities in Singapore. Both tools will also be helpful in identifying challenges that could be tackled in Singapore by commercial companies, governmental organisations and knowledge institutes from the Netherlands.

Key Result Areas

Three (3) key result areas have been identified in this project. They are:

  1. A clear picture of performance and bottlenecks, the main social, environmental and financial aspects, and material flows related to food waste, plastic, the water cycle and electronic waste in Singapore by comparison with the Netherlands will be established with:

– Trends and Pressures Framework (TPF) research

– City Blueprint Framework (CBF) research.

  1. Business opportunities and recommendations for the Dutch sector will be derived from the research.
  2. A final public report with all results will be published and presented to the Dutch and Singapore sectors.