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 W aste generation is set to continue growth and the prevalence of electrical and largest processors of end-of-life scrap catalytic
to grow. The World Bank
estimates that waste generation will increase to 3.40 billion tonnes in 2050, marking an approximate 70 percent increase
from 2.01 billion tonnes in 2016.
Propelling the massive increase in global waste generation are factors such as population and economic growth and increasing urbanisation.
In the wake of the immense volume of waste produced around the world every year, more and more businesses are finding new growth opportunities. There is wealth to be found in trash, so to speak, especially when companies make use of new technologies and the Internet of Things (IoT) to provide strategic solutions to the waste generation problem.
Statistics show that by 2025, the value of the global waste management industry is expected to hit US$530 billion, from US$330.6 billion in 2017. Global recycling rates are also rising, with metal predicted to reach US$434.55 billion by 2023. Plastics are expected to rise from US$25 billion in 2018 to US$33.8 billion by 2023.
Managing e-Waste
One of the leading parts of the waste stream is electrical and electronic waste (e-waste) caused by technological advancements and growing insatiable consumer demand. By 2019, approximately 53.6 million metric tons of e-waste was generated globally; an increase of 44.4 million metric tons in five years.
Singapore generates more than 60,000 tonnes of e-waste annually and the volume is expected to grow in tandem with economic
electronic equipment (EEE) among consumers and businesses.
Mr Ram Bhaskar, National Environment Agency (NEA)’s Deputy Chief Executive Officer (Environmental Protection) and Director-General of Environmental Protection said, ”Recycling e-waste protects human and environmental health and helps to conserve our earth’s precious natural resources.”
According to the NEA website, e-waste contains valuable resources that can be extracted through proper handling and treatment processes. It also contains small amounts of hazardous substances that may harm the environment and our health, if improperly disposed of.
New e-waste
disposal system
As part of Singapore’s extended producer responsibility (EPR) scheme for electronic and e-waste management, NEA awarded the licence, the first of its kind, to Alba Group to offer a new electronic and electrical waste collection system, including receptacles in public
areas, scheduled collection drives and ad hoc doorstep collection services.
Alba will help the public and businesses properly dispose of e-waste. All e-waste collected by the company will be sent to licensed e-waste recyclers.
Future in
Metals Recycling
Making money from waste is BR Metals, an industry-leading specialist in the recycling of Platinum Group Metals (PGM) and one of Asia’s
converters, an emission-control device found in both gasoline and diesel vehicles.
Recognised as one of the fastest-growing companies in Singapore, BR Metals reclaims and returns an estimated 80,000 troy ounces of platinum group metals every year to the circular economy. Between the 2016 and 2020 financial years, its revenue shot up from US$4.8 million (S$6.3 million) to US$130 million (S$172.5 million). The company has two processing facilities, in Shaoguan, China, and Singapore, as well as offices in China, Singapore and Cambodia.
In an interview with The Straits Times (Jan 19, 2021) , Mr Frank Chen, founder and managing director of BR Metals, was quoted as saying, “Despite the Covid-19 outbreak, we have continued to grow and prosper, and I think that is a testament to how we’ve managed our business relationships and developed our company.”

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