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Gadgets & Home Improvement

Is it raining heavily? Check NEA's new app

Free iPhone app gives updates and allows users to send feedback
The Straits Times - July 6, 2011
By: Daryl Chin
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Is it raining heavily? Check NEA's new app The app allows users to tap online information on air quality based on the Pollutant Standards Index, and hygiene gradings of food caterers. -- ST PHOTO: LIM SIN THAI

IF YOU are at work and worried about whether heavy rain is lashing the area that you live in, a new smartphone app from the National Environment Agency (NEA) may calm your nerves.

Called myENV, the free iPhone app allows users to tap online information plus subscribe for notifications of rainfall intensity at specific locations.

An update will be sent to you once the hourly rainfall exceeds 0.2mm in the area covered by any of the 54 weather stations islandwide.

The online information includes dengue clusters by area, air quality based on the Pollutant Standards Index, hygiene gradings of food caterers and a list of licensed pest-control operators.

The app for the Android and iPad platforms will be launched later. NEA chief executive Andrew Tan said that if it proves popular, more features will be rolled out.

'We hope to rope in the community as our partners and let them play their part in safeguarding our environment,' he added.

The app allows users to send feedback, such as pictures.

Yesterday, he also spoke at a waste-management symposium at the Marina Mandarin hotel and announced plans for the year.

The event, which aims to provide fresh insights and trends, was attended by 200 participants from the industry.

The NEA will put out a tender later this year to replace the Tuas Incineration Plant with a new facility by 2016.

Operating since 1986, it is the second-oldest such plant here and incinerates more than 1,000 tonnes of refuse daily.

'As the plant nears its end, we need to look at better standards to incinerate waste based on today's technology and the scarcity of land, and also leave a smaller carbon footprint,' he said.

The work to replace the Tuas South Incineration Plant cost the Government $900 million in 2000.

Another tender slated to be put out is the construction of a waste-collection system in the Marina Bay area that uses air to move waste to collection points, as opposed to conventional labour-intensive methods.

At the symposium, the Waste Management & Recycling Association of Singapore signed two agreements with partners.

One involved a tie-up with law firm Harry Elias Partnership for $250,000 in legal aid while the other was with the Singapore Business Federation for future collaborations.

The association's chairman Guah Eng Hock said: 'Given our geographic location, good infrastructure and understanding of the culture in the region, I believe Singapore will be the environment hub for Asia.'

Back home, Mr Tan said Singaporeans can still do better in terms of recycling.

The overall recycling rate this year is 58 per cent and the target set in the Sustainable Singapore Blueprint is 70 per cent by 2030. The NEA plans to step up awareness programmes and recycling efforts to reduce the need for new landfills.



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