Electronic Waste: What and Where to Recycle in Singapore
by: The Beat Asia
October 07, 2022
In a single year, Singaporeans generate around 60,000 tonnes of electronic waste. That's about 70 phones for every person in the city-state, as per Singapore's Zero Waste Masterplan. But e-waste doesn't just pertain to mobile phones; it also includes other electronics like computers, laptops, radios, televisions, refrigerators, light bulbs, batteries, and more. While these contain materials like silver and gold, they also have harmful components like lead and cadmium.
The city-state already has initiatives in place to solve the problem of e-waste, but it bolstered these by introducing the Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) framework, an e-waste management system, on July 1, 2021. The framework stipulates that manufacturers and importers of electronic equipment are required to take care of the proper collection and handling of e-waste. The EPR is implemented under the Resource Sustainability Act (RSA), as administered by the National Environment Agency (NEA).
There are ways you can take to ensure you can do your part in the proper treatment of e-waste. The Singaporean government recommends the following:
Buy Only What You Need: There's a reason why "reduce" precedes "reuse" and "recycle" in waste management. Before buying any new gadget, ask yourself if it is absolutely necessary. Reducing one's consumption means lowering one's carbon footprint.
Repair, Not Replace: It's recommended to have your electronics repaired instead of buying a new one to replace it. Apart from saving money, you also get to help the environment.
Donate Usable Items: If you have devices you no longer want or need but are still good to use, you can always donate them. In Singapore, you can donate your electronics at these collection points.
Recycle Your E-waste in the Proper Bins: If your device is already broken, it is recommended to put it through a recycling programme.
Here Are Some Recycling Programmes in Singapore
StarHub's RENEW (REcycling Nation's Electronic Waste) Programme
This programme is a partnership of StarHub with DHL Express Singapore and TES to install more than 400 e-waste recycling bins around the city-state. When you drop your e-waste in these bins, they are picked up by DHL and delivered to TES for proper recycling.
What to Recycle: Most electronics measuring less than 47 centimetres by 12 cm can be inserted through the bins' slots. These include mobile phones, phone batteries, keyboards, computer mice, DVD players, remote controls, plugs, wires, and more.
Go here to view where you can find RENEW bins in Singapore.
City Square Mall E-Waste Recycling Programme
If you want to drop off your e-waste before doing errands or some shopping, you can bring your e-waste along to City Square Mall on Level 2 Customer Service Counter.
What to Recycle: Electronics like computers, laptops, phones, radios, electric irons. Bulky items like TV sets and washing machines are not recommended.
IKEA’s Light Bulb Recycling Programme
If you're looking to get rid of lightbulbs and other lighting fixtures, head to the Ikea at 317 Alexandra Road and 60 Tampines North Drive 2 and drop your e-waste at the collection bins at the lighting department.
What to Recycle: Light bulbs and fluorescent tubes.
Go here to view a map of other e-waste collection points in Singapore.
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