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Garbage State

February 2, 2011

[UPDATE August 15, 2011: This blog post has been turned into a New York Times article]

A look inside an island that’s made entirely out of trash

An aerial view of Pulau Semakau, Singapore's only landfill that is entirely man made. Photo courtesy of the National Environment Agency

It's hard to imagine that under these palm trees are hundreds of tons of trash. The man made lake in the background will eventually be filled with trash and covered over with grass and saplings. Photo courtesy of Jillian Keenan

Members of NEA explain how "cells" are constructed that contain seawater and that will eventually hold future piles of trash. Singapore hopes the landfill will contain the city's trash until 2045. Photo courtesy Jillian Keenan

Industrial waste that can't be incinerated is dumped into a water-filled cell. Photo courtesy of Jillian Keenan

Ong Chong Peng, general manager of the landfill, explains what can and can't be incinerated and how many visitors have flocked to the island once the ash and garbage are covered over. Photo courtesy of Jillian Keenan

A striated heron spends time on the shore of the landfill. Photo courtesy of the National Environment Agency

A knobbly sea star along the banks of the landfill. Photo courtesy the National Environment Agency

4 Comments leave one →
  1. February 2, 2011 8:11 pm

    Fascinating post! Are any other countries experimenting with off-shore landfills like this?

    • lhoshaw permalink*
      February 5, 2011 8:32 pm

      Hey Jillian, good question. I’m not sure and it’s worth looking into. I know a lot of states like NY send their trash to neighboring states but international disposal is something I know little about. I’ll investigate and get back to you…

  2. February 4, 2011 12:51 pm

    Sounds like you are having a great time and I’m having a wonderful time reading about it.

  3. webbersbrush permalink
    August 7, 2011 6:21 am

    You have a great blog site, your post are brilliant. I really started reading and enjoying your posts. Science, environment and nature are subjects which on the whole fascinates me. You are giving a lot of “wow..I never knew that…” feel to me. Great. I’ll definitely spend time on your site. All my wishes for your effort.


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