News and Events

Digester turns Singaporeans' food waste into fertiliser in just 24 hours

Dec 11 2018

Local SME Westcom Solutions leveraged on the expertise provided by A*STAR’s Institute of Chemical and Engineering Sciences to develop the customised microbes crucial to the process of converting local food waste into fertilizer.

Westcom currently taps on the high-value food waste processing industry estimated to be worth US$31.71 billion globally. The food waste is first dumped into the machine, then microbes - small micro-organisms that break down the food waste into simpler organic materials - are added to the mix. Using the microbes jointly developed with ICES, Westcom’s digesters take about a day to break down food waste into fertiliser, while other food digesters in the market take a week or more to do the same.

Westcom and A*STAR are currently exploring further collaborations in other areas of sustainable waste management, including ways to break down biodegradable plastics that are commonly disposed of along with food waste. "Apart from reducing the need for us to do more incineration and take up precious land from our only landfill, it is also about building an ecosystem for the circular economy where we close the loop of food waste," said Senior Minister of State for Trade and Industry Dr. Koh Poh Koon who visited the Pandan Loop Industrial Estate to view the food digester on Monday, 10 December 2018.

 

This has also been featured in the following media platforms:

TODAY Online: https://www.todayonline.com/singapore/astar-singapore-firm-develop-system-turns-food-waste-odourless-fertiliser-24-hours

The Business Times:  https://www.businesstimes.com.sg/government-economy/pharma-manufacturing-in-singapore-gets-s34m-boost

The Straits Times:  https://www.straitstimes.com/singapore/digester-turns-singaporeans-food-waste-into-fertiliser-in-just-24-hours

Channel 8 News:  https://www.channel8news.sg/news8/singapore/20181210-sg-micro-organism/4199946.html