Sustainability has to be rooted in a community effort for it to blossom within the hearts of Tampines residents. With the launch of Sustainability @ Tampines Park on 5 December, Tampines is well on its way to becoming the first Eco-Town in Singapore.
MPs for Tampines GRC, Minister for Social and Family Development, Second Minister for Health and Minister-in-Charge of Muslim Affairs, Mr Masagos Zulkifli, Senior Minister of State, Ministry of Health, Dr Koh Poh Koon, Mayor of North East District, Mr Desmond Choo, Senior Parliamentary Secretary, Ministry of Transport, Mr Baey Yam Keng and Chairman of Tampines Town Council (TTC), Ms Cheng Li Hui officiated the launch event. Mr Desmond Tan, Minister of State for Ministry of Home Affairs and Ministry of Sustainability and the Environment, was Guest Adviser at the event.
Our MPs and the Guest Adviser toured the sites of Singapore's first community-based circular ecosystem, which includes a tilapia fish farm, a vertical high-tech farm for leafy vegetables such as lettuce, bayam spinach and nai bai, as well as a black soldier fly (BSF) facility.
Residents can now contribute food waste, which is broken down by BSF larvae into frass to fertilise the pesticide-free and organic vegetables grown in the vertical farm at Block 146 of Tampines. The nutrition-packed larvae are then fed to the tilapias. Finally, residents can buy vegetables and tilapia using the 'green currency' accumulated from contributing food waste. Also showcased at the launch was a robotic arm capable of sorting harvested vegetables into lockers for residents' collection.
"We need to make sure sustainability is felt on the ground. Only then can we build circularity into what we normally throw away. We usually take, consume, and throw away. Whereas in this case, we consume, put back into the system, and the food that we could have wasted becomes food again," Mr Masagos explained.