Themed REINVENT: Transform the Industry, the 4th edition of WasteMET Asia Symposium (WMAS), a leading international waste management event in Asia opened its doors on the 19th of October, 2017 at the MAX Atria @ Singapore EXPO.
Organised by the Waste Management and Recycling Association of Singapore (WMRAS) and SingEx Exhibitions, this year’s event saw seven Trade Associations and Chambers (TACs) signing a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to identify individual industry challenges and develop joint projects and solutions for the benefit of their member-companies as well as to promote the business prospects of their respective sectors and contribute to a more sustainable living environment.
The TACs that took part in the signing ceremony for the MOU on inter-TAC collaboration on the morning of the 19th of October were:
- Association of Property and Facilities Managers (APFM)
- Container Depot and Logistics Association (Singapore) (CDAS)
- Landscape Industry Association of Singapore (LIAS)
- Singapore Food Manufacturers’ Association (SFMA)
- Singapore Industrial Automation Association (SIAA)
- Singapore infocomm Technology Federation (SiTF)
- Singapore Water Association (SWA)
- Waste Management and Recycling Association of Singapore (WMRAS)
Dr Amy Khor, Senior Minister of State, Ministry of the Environment and Water Resources and Ministry of Health graced the occasion. Accompanying Dr Khor, who is also WMRAS’ Advisor, to witness the signing of the MOU by the TAC presidents/chairmen or their senior council members, were Mr Ronnie Tay, CEO of the National Environment Agency (NEA), Ms Chew Mok Lee, Assistant Chief Executive, Capabilities & Partnership of SPRING Singapore and Mr Charles Ho Nai Chuen, Vice-President of the Singapore Chinese Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SCCCI).
Besides the signing of the MOU on inter-TAC collaboration and the conference proper, the two-day event from the 19th to the 20th of October had around 20 exhibitors which showcased IoT solutions and robotics in response to the existing labour crunch and the need to reinvent business models to increase productivity. Key speakers at the symposium came from Microsoft, Tata Communications, Volvo Trucks and Hyundai Autoever.
Finally, in the evening of 19th October, Guest-of-Honour Dr Khor returned to the Max Atria @ Singapore EXPO to present the WMRAS Excellence Awards to recognise and reward ten individual “Unsung Heroes” and corporate winners from the waste management and recycling industry for excelling in their frontline operations work, contributing to environmental sustainability and promoting safety and health in the work environment.
Dr Khor also presented certificates to the graduates of WMRAS Academy’s 1st Professional Course in Waste Management & Resource Recovery for PMETs, developed and delivered in collaboration with Griffith University of Queensland, Australia. Prior to the course, WMRAS Academy only developed and conducted Workforce Skills Qualifications (WSQ) courses for frontline operations workers. However, in response to the industry’s need for training to allow PMETs working in the waste management and recycling sector to upgrade their skills and knowledge and promote their career prospects, as well as to professionalise the industry and attract more Singaporeans to join its PMET ranks, the new course was developed.
From May to August 2017, Griffith lecturers were flown into Singapore to impart their environmental studies knowledge and practices from an international and Australian perspective to 17 PMET-course participants from 11 local waste management and recycling companies. To provide the students with a more holistic view of how waste and recycling businesses are managed, WMRAS Academy also organised a number of sharing sessions with industry practitioners and took them on a couple of field trips.
“SMEs faced with a limited local market coupled with manpower and space constraints must think out of the box, especially in these economically challenging times. We have to find new, innovative ways to run and grow our businesses; reinvent and transform our industries,” Ms Melissa Tan, PBM, Chairman of WMRAS, said. “WMAS 2017 exemplifies the growing need for waste management and recycling companies to adopt digital technologies in order to achieve sustainable growth and yet optimise productivity and deliver more to their clients with end-to-end solutions. This was also the motivating factor for WMRAS to take the lead to initiate the collaborative arrangement with the other TACs. With each TAC’s openness, commitment and most importantly, a positive ‘can-do’ spirit, and with the support of SPRING, NEA and SCCCI; I’m confident that our MOU will result in joint projects that will bring benefits to our respective member-businesses and upgrade our industries.”
“Digitalisation and technology are continuously disrupting industries and communities at large; we are seeing a paradigm shift in the waste management industry to reinvent businesses with the introduction of new technology in the Asian marketplace,” Mr Adrian Sng, General Manager of SingEx Exhibitions, added. “We are excited to once again work with WMRAS in providing an all-encompassing and borderless platform for businesses, government, academia and associations to connect and explore business opportunities across Asia.”