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Green Education


The Process in the Incinerator Plant


How the Poisons in the Air Affects You and Your Body?


Why Acid Rain is so dangerous?


What happens if the Earth gets warmer?


Survey on Air Pollutions - Incineratior Plants (68 Responded)

The Process in the Incinerator Plant

Refuse container trailers and refuse collection vehicles are first weighed at the weight bridges before they are permitted to discharge the refuse into the enclosed refuse bunker. The refuse in the bunker is then fed into the incinerator furnaces by means of overhead grab-cranes.

Refuse combustion is an exothermic process and it can be
sustained without the need of auxiliary fuel. Each incinerator furnace has four runs of incineration grates which spread and convey the burning refuse slowly through the furnace.  Air drawn from the refuse bunker is preheated by steam before being introduced into the furnace via the underside of the incineration grates.
Chimney2.gif (20742 bytes)


Chimney3.gif (10294 bytes) The ash residue from the furnace is transported to the ash pit via vibration conveyors. Ferrous metals are picked up from the ash by overhead electro-magnetic separators and sold as scrap metal.




The hot flur gas produced in the combustion process is used to generate steam. Superheated steam from the boiler is expanded through two condensing turbines, each of which drives a generator to produce electricity. Part of the electricity generated is used to operate the Plant equipment and the surplus is sold to the Public Utilities Board. Click to Enlarge

How the Poisons in the Air Affect You?  

Areas Affected : Kidney and Brain

A toxic metal that's present in normal petrol and in the air as fine particles. Can affect the central nervous system, cause renal damage and hypertension. Children are three times more at risk than adults.

A toxic metal that's present in normal petrol and in the air as fine particles. Can affect the central nervous system, cause renal damage and hypertension. Children are three times more at risk than adults.

Suspended Particulate Matter
Areas Affected : Respiratory Tract, Noses and Eyes, and Lungs

Particles of dust and carbon, coated with toxic gases, all emanating from factory emissions and vehicle exhaust. They coat the lungs. Cause respiratory infections, persistent cough and throat irritation. Aggravate asthma.

Carbon Monoxide
Areas Affected : Entire Body

Colourless and odourless, it comes from petrol vehicles, mostly two- and three- wheelers.  Reduces the ability of blood to carry oxygen.  Exacerbates heart disorders.

Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons (PAHS)
Areas Affected : Respiratory Tract and Nose and Eyes

Unburnt fuel from diesel engines. Cause drowiness, eye irritation, cough and are suspected to be cancer causing. There is no such thing a a safety level for PAHS.

Sulphur Dioxide
Areas Affected : Respiratory Tract

Colourless gas that is a part of diesel exhaust and factory emissions. Affects upper respiratory tract. Causes bronchial problems, nose blockage and a hacking cough.

Areas Affected : Lungs and the Entire Body

Cannot be seen. It's part of unlead petrol and is emitted from catalytic converters. A known carcinogen, it has been linked to lung cancer and leukaemia and is said to damage the central nervous system. No safe limit: there just shouldn't be Benzene around.

Oxides of Nitrogen
Areas Affected : Respiratory Tract

Click to view the graphical chart Formed during fuel combustion in motor vehicles and power stations. Convert to nitrogen dioxide, which leads to bronchial infections, colds, headaches, and eye irritation. A recent spurt in fibrosis cases in Mumbai has been traced to these pollutants.


Why is acid rain so dangerous?

Vehicles and industrial factories have made life much luxurious for people. But the gases that come out of factory chimneys and vehicles are harmful to living things. These gases rise into the air and combine with moisture in the clouds. This makes the rain that falls from those clouds acidic. When acid rain sinks into the soil or lakes it kills trees and other plants. It also erodes buildings.

What happens if the Earth gets warmer?

Smoke from the incineration plants, factories and cars are escaping into space. This can increase the Earth's temperature, and when that happens, the ice, snow in the coldest part of the world will melt, making the level of the sea rise. It would flood the coastal areas and everything close to the shore would vanish beneath the oceans.

For more information about the toxins emitted by waste incinerators, please check out the greenpeace report at GreenPeace Web Site.

68 Singaporeans responded in the Survey on Air Pollutions near Incinerator Plants (RPDC reserves the right to choose the questions to be presented on the web)

Question 1: At Senoko Incinerator Plant, there is a number of food industries preparing food for local and overseas consumption. We understand that nitrogen oxides and dioxin were usually emitted from the incinerator's chimneys, so how safe is the food being prepared?

RPDC: When rain falls, the pollutants including dioxin and nitrogen oxides falls with it and when that happens, living things and plants will soon die. When human beings inhale such gases over a long period of time, it will cause cancer and other diseases. But we are not sure when these gases enter the atmosphere while the food industries nearby preparing food is safe for consumption.

Question 2: Singapore is a small nation, yet we have already 4 incinerators (Ulu Pandan, Tuas, Senoko and Tuas South) and the fifth one is coming. Will the emission from these chimneys spread all over Singapore?

RPDC: You have just mentioned it yourself -- 'Singapore is a small nation'. We believe that irregardless of the wind direction, the pollutants will enter and spread into the atmosphere. Everybody will have the chance to inhale the pollutants.

Question 3: Does it mean that when we inhale these pollutants and when we get old, we might get cancer and we make our doctors rich and most of us will die at the same age?

RPDC: We have no comments. We might end up paying medical bills when one get old and fall sick. This is fact of life. We are not sure if one can surely get cancer from inhaling such pollutants and make doctors rich.

Question 3: How can one be sure that the emission from these incinerator chimneys are safe for humans to inhale?

RPDC: You can experiment it by burning all sorts of rubbish like old newspaper, cartons boxes, plastic bags, soil waste, batteries(vehicle and phone), aerosol cans, foam containers, garden waste, pvc materials, pet bottles, glass, electronic items, broken furniture, food waste, soil diaper, sanitary napkins, used cooking oil, plastic bottles, oil paint, metal/alumnium cans, old toys, old clothes, stationery items, wooden pallets, other chemicals and so forth in a confined room. You will not get a 'char kway teow' but a high temperature combustion releases toxic metals such as lead, cadmium, arsenic, mercury and chromium from wastes that contain these substances. Among these are dioxins and TCDD, a chemical which has been described as the most toxic chemical known to man. They are released in the form of tiny particles or gases, increasing the risk of inhalation.

Question 4: I live near Teban Gardens Estate which is within 2 km away from Tuas South Incinerator Plant. I would like to know whether my family is in immediate danger of inhaling the air?

RPDC: Although the air near your area could be polluted (there are also other industries there) but we cannot confirm whether it will cause immediate harm to your family, just like smoking a stick of cigarette, you will not get cancer immediately but over a long period of time, it caused cancer and other diseases. We have also visited some clinics in Jurong and clementi areas. The doctors there refused to comment on anything.

Question 5: I live near West Coast Reservoir. Please adivse whether the pollutants and other substances fall together with rain into the Reservoir and whether the water is still safe for consumption?

RPDC: Yes, when rain falls, dioxin and other pollutants falls together with it. We are not sure whether it is safe for consumption. We do know that there is water insemination and other processes from water works department, so far we have no complains from members of public about water poisoning. However, according to greenpeace statements:

"Once emitted into the environment, dioxins can travel vast distances on air and ocean currents, and because of this globe trotting ability are a global contaminant. In 1997, the International Agency for Research on cancer(IARC) classified TCDD, the most toxic dioxin as a human carinogen. In 1989, 16 dairy farmers downwind of a Rotterdam incinerator were banned from selling their milk, because it contained dioxin levels three times higher than anywhere else in the Netherlands. Residents of one property downwind waste incinerator in Pontypool, South Wales, were advised not to consume duck or bantam eggs from their property."

Question 6: Is there any test being carried out on the emission from the incinerators?

RPDC: Kindly log on to greenpeace web site at You will be able to extract a full report on emission from the incinerators and the health effects on human beings.

Question 7: How can we stop this nightmare altogether?

RPDC: Since incinerators are here to stay and we cannot do without them, the only solution is 'reduce, reuse and recycling'. RPDC intend to lauch a nation wide recycling campaign to reduce air pollution.

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