Singapore is the global epitome of environmental sustainability.
The island state of roughly six million people boasts an efficient solid waste management infrastructure that begins at home and ends in waste-to-energy plants, where incineration produces steam.
The process reduces the volume of solid waste by 90%. Steam then runs turbine-generators to yield electricity, which powers the community.
The incinerated ash, as well as other non-incinerable wastes, are transported to Semakau Landfill, an artificial island covering 350 hectares (3.5 square kilometers) that is unlike any other landfill many have seen to date.
Nuseir Yassin, an Arab-Israeli blogger, recently visited the landfill with his girlfriend and shared how it works in a video.
“See, I’m here with my girlfriend vacationing on a nice island off the coast of Singapore,” Yassin said. “It’s pretty, it’s clean, it’s nice!”
“But what if I told you that this nice island is made of trash?!”
Semakau, which opened in 1999, is Singapore’s sole landfill facility. It is projected to accommodate the nation’s waste disposal needs until 2035.
The site is separated from the rest of the sea by a seven-kilometer (4.35-mile) perimeter rock bund, which is lined “with impermeable membrane and a layer of marine clay” to ensure that incinerated ash is contained within.
Marine life also took precedence during the landfill’s construction. As such, coral reefs and mangrove trees in its surroundings are alive and thriving.
Even better, the landfill itself has transformed into an earthly paradise, covered by lush greens that easily trick people into thinking they are standing on a vacation spot.
“It doesn’t smell at all,” Yassin added. “It doesn’t hurt the environment, the corals are still alive, the animals are still around, and the jungle is still green.”
“People even come to take wedding photos at a landfill.”
Yassin compared the landfill to similar facilities elsewhere in the world, which happen to look the complete opposite.
“In many countries, landfills are painful to look at and to visit. This is why everybody needs to see this!”
Needless to say, Singapore has proven that progress and sustainability can conveniently work hand-in-hand.
“The people of Singapore have made a landfill feel like a resort!”
After posting the video, Yassin addressed several concerns, such as the incineration process and the “dumping” of ash on the “ocean.”
People praised the environmental marvel — including locals who have never even seen it.
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