JULY 2021 — RP’s research into novel agrifood solutions has catalysed bold steps forward in Singapore’s push towards a zero-waste nation. Supported by our partners, PV Vacuum Engineering and Insect Feed Technologies, this endeavour aims to upcycle food waste into sustainable animal feeds and fertilisers.

RP Makes Significant Progress Towards a Sustainable, Climate-Resilient Singapore

Black soldier fly larvae can be upcycled into animal feed, making them promising contributors to a more sustainable economy. The limitation lies in how their larvae are farmed. As industrial-grade waste is the standard feed for insect farms owing to safety and traceability concerns, waste from post-consumers food waste is limited to diversion from landfills via on-site anaerobic food digesters or compost digesters. 

In order to reduce the waste sent to Semakau Landfill each day by 30 per cent by 2030, we aim to collect a portion of this food waste – amounting to 160,000 tonnes per year – and use it to fuel local black soldier fly farms. It is a promising first step towards achieving noteworthy sustainability goals, such as extending the lifespan of our landfills.

Closing the Food Waste Loop

To enable the safe collection of food waste, PV Vacuum Engineering will leverage their Pneumatic Waste Conveyance Systems, which already serve 10 HDB districts.
“With the Pneumatic Waste Conveyance System being progressively rolled into new HDB residential and commercial developments, the segregation and collection of food waste can be done securely and can be traced back to stalls or F&B outlets,” shares Mr Jeremy Kong, Programme Chair (Work Learn Programmes), School of Applied Science, RP.

Complementing this, Insect Feed Technologies will optimise the food waste collected, ensuring it contributes effectively to black soldier fly farming and upcycling. RP will work closely with our partners to develop audit and training standards that support the widescale adoption of this system.
This will help improve the food circular economy in Singapore and close the food waste loop, in synergy with the government’s 30 by 30 vision.

Food Waste in Garbage Bin

Signing Up for Change

On 15 July 2021, an MOU was signed between RP, Darco Water Technologies (of which PV Vacuum Engineering is a subsidiary) and Insect Feed Technologies. This MOU crystallises the intent and commitment of all parties to this exciting project. It also further deepens our long-standing relationship with PV Vacuum Engineering and Insect Feed Technologies.

Empowering Innovative Waste Management

The MOU will bolster industry collaborations between RP, PV Vacuum Engineering and Insect Feed Technologies. On a macro-level, it enables more comprehensive research regarding the collection and processing of food waste into commercially-viable products. It also supports the conceptualisation and implementation of district-level solutions that alleviate food waste problems. Closer to home, the MOU explores more student placements for RP’s student internship programmes, the development and delivery of Continuous Education and Training programmes, and collaborative research projects for staff and students. The networking opportunities and knowledge transfer provided by this enhanced collaboration will also expose our students to innovative agrifood ideas and technologies, giving them a strong foothold in the industry.

MOU Signing Ceremony

Representatives from RP, Darco Water Technologies and Insect Feed Technologies demonstrating their commitment to reducing food waste during the signing of the MOU

In addition, this collaboration has generated new prospects for Darco Water Technologies and their Pneumatic Waste Conveyance System. The engineering company is optimistic about working with Insect Feed Technologies and RP, stating that such partnerships will allow for greater innovation and knowledge transfer across a wide spectrum of sustainability initiatives, from waste management to recycling.

Related Articles

Got a minute to spare? Check out these related articles below! 

Trends in Future-Ready Agrifood Innovation

Trends in Future-Ready Agrifood Innovation

What truly lies at the heart of Singapore’s dining choices? Find out as RP researchers share their thoughts on innovation in food-related R&D.
Learn More


Cultivated Meat: Animal-Friendly, Environmentally Sustainable and Genuinely Meaty

Sustainable plant-based “meat” is often seen as the leading substitute to meat consumption — but an RP alumnus believes that an alternative exists in cultivating meat through existing cell culture technology.
Learn More

Demystifying the Digital Domain Through Education

How Education Demystifies the Digital Domain

Partnering with the National Library Board (NLB) to advocate and meet the rising needs of digital literacy.
Learn More