Start Recycling at Home

Start Recycling at Home

Recycling bin for HDB estates

It’s easy to recycle at home. Learn about the existing recycling programme at your area and find out the type of items that are acceptable for recycling.

HDB Housing Estates and Landed Property Estates

The National Environment Agency (NEA) has implemented the National Recycling Programme (NRP) since 2001, where recycling bins are provided for residents living in HDB housing estates and landed property estates.

For HDB estates, there is one recycling bin for each block of flats with 3 or 7 times collection per week. The recycling bins are usually located near the Central Refuse Chute (CRC) of newer HDB blocks, beside footpaths or linkways, and placed in open areas.

For landed property estates, one recycling bin is provided for each house with one or two collection per week. There is also a separate collection of garden waste for landed property estates. Plastic bags containing grass, leaves, and small branches can be placed beside the recycling bin.

For more information, check out this NEA recycling brochure. For enquiries, call 1800-CALL NEA (1800-2255 632) or email

Find recycling bins near your home via the SLA OneMap under the Environment theme.

Condominiums and Private Apartments

Condominiums and private apartments are not covered under the NRP. However, it is mandatory for condominiums and private apartments to provide recycling facilities for their residents from 1 Nov 2008.

If there’s no recycling facilities at your place, contact your Managing Agents (MAs) and Management Councils (MCs). The MAs and MCs can also refer to the NEA’s online guidebook to learn how to set up a recycling programme.

Find Out What You Can Recycle

You can make use of the recycling programme to recycle items such as paper, plastic bottles and containers, glass bottles, metal cans and old clothing.

Find out what items are acceptable for recycling from this NEA brochure.

What Happens to the Recyclables?

The recyclables are collected by the appointed Public Waste Collector and brought back to their facility. The recyclables are sorted manually or by equipment into the different types of material. The sorted recyclables are then sent to local recycling companies for processing into raw materials or new products, or exported overseas for recycling.

For enquiries on the recycling collection, you can contact the Public Waste Collector providing the recycling collection for your area.


  • bySudhir
    Posted March 8, 2009 8:27 pm 0Likes

    I’ve been recycling for awhile now. Unfortunately, the collection in my area (Sembawang – 467 Admiralty Drive) seems to have stopped since January of this year. I have been trying to find out a) why its stopped b) if there are any new collectors/collections in the area c) if I will need to take it to some location myself. There isn’t a lot of information around.

    Perhaps – publicity apart – Singapore is not that focussed on recycling after all.

    • byEugene
      Posted March 9, 2009 10:44 am 0Likes

      Check with NEA at 1800-CALL NEA (1800-2255 632) or email
      Or check with the collector SembWaste Pte Ltd (Tel: 1800-2786135).

  • byAntoinette
    Posted April 24, 2009 3:35 pm 0Likes

    I’m curious to know what happens when those Wall-E-looking compressed recyclables stuff get exported? Thank you.

    • byEugene
      Posted April 28, 2009 6:05 pm 0Likes

      Well, they are recycled!

    • byCeline
      Posted September 10, 2018 10:06 pm 0Likes

      They’re typically exported to paper mills, plastic recycling plants overseas in Malaysia, China etc since we don’t have such processing plants in Singapore! For paper, they’re then made into recycled paper, toilet paper and such. Learned this on a visit to a recycling plant in Sungei Kadut!

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  • byShirley
    Posted July 16, 2009 12:08 pm 0Likes

    I understand that plastics/containers that are used to contain food may not be recycled. I would like to know if they can be recycled if I rinse and wash them?

    Since batches that are contaminated cannot be recycled, I would like to suggest pasting reminders or instructions on the bin so that people can avoid putting in things that might contaminate the particular batch.


    • byEugene
      Posted July 21, 2009 1:01 pm 0Likes

      You can check with the recycling collector serving your area on whether they accept those plastic containers for recycling.

  • bykim
    Posted July 24, 2009 8:47 pm 0Likes

    hi, i would like to know how waste disposal trucks collect waste and recyclables from those recycling bins. Would appreciate if you could reply ASAP, i kinda need the info for my project that is due really soon. Thank you so much!

  • byMargaret
    Posted December 19, 2009 9:06 pm 0Likes

    Hi, I try my best to recycle & have a couple of questions.

    1)How do I dispose of batteries & light bulbs responsibly?

    2)I read in an article that we must ensure that glass & plastic bottles should be washed thoroughly before we put them in the recycling bin. What happens to those that are not washed?


  • bywatsup
    Posted April 18, 2010 6:29 pm 0Likes

    sorry may i know what happen IF the plastic containers are not rinsed before they are placed in recycling bins? Can it still be recycled?

    • byEugene
      Posted April 19, 2010 9:57 am 0Likes

      Hi, the plastic containers are still recyclable if they are not rinsed. Rinsing helps to reduce smell and pest problems, and is less messy.

  • byCecilia
    Posted May 2, 2011 6:42 pm 0Likes

    How do we dispose printers? Rag and bone man doesn’t collect them and the company does not have trade-in programs?

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  • byStacey
    Posted October 2, 2011 12:18 pm 0Likes

    Can we take plastic bags and plastic food containers to a recycling plant here? The recycling truck won’t take them but all these things are totally recyclable.

    • byEugene Tay
      Posted October 3, 2011 4:10 pm 0Likes

      Clean plastic bags and food containers, except styrofoam, are recyclable and can be placed in the recycling bins or bags, but we know collectors don’t like them.

  • byKatez
    Posted December 26, 2011 11:27 pm 0Likes

    Is there anyway that I can recycle small things.. like a box of papers and glass easily?

    I tried to use to recycle bags. Put some of those A4 papers in which garang guni dun wan to buy (I nv plan to sell anyway) and left then at the doorstep as the date indicate was the next day. But the bag was gone by evening….

    Then I want to recycle glass bottles. There is this really nice recycle bin near my place which I will want to use, but its full of rubbish.

  • byIris Tham
    Posted January 31, 2012 10:16 pm 0Likes

    The video on sorting the recycleable items either by hand or equipment, may I know if the recycleable sorting machine is sited in Singapore or not?

    • byEugene Tay
      Posted February 1, 2012 11:38 am 0Likes

      @Iris, the video was taken several years ago but the system was sited in Singapore. Not sure whether it looks the same now.

  • byMaryam
    Posted April 4, 2012 7:41 pm 0Likes

    hi, im currently doing a project that is relevant to recycling. May i know if there are any sort of proper stats/figures that shows that people are unsure of how to sort their recyclables or are there increasing number of such enquiries, something along those lines.. a prompt reply would be much appreciated:) thanks!

  • bysteffi
    Posted October 28, 2012 2:32 pm 0Likes


    I don’t know if this is the right page to ask this, but I have a couple of nail polish bottles that I want to dispose of, and there’s still a bit of nail polish left in it! What do I do? I googled online, and they said to bring it to your local hazardous waste treatment facility, but it seems like Singapore doesn’t have one? 🙁

    Thanks for your advice!

    • byEugene Tay
      Posted November 6, 2012 9:22 am 0Likes

      @steffi, you probably have to dispose them through the normal disposal bins, and it gets sent to the incineration plant where air pollution controls are in place. Note that maybe you could place the bottles with nail polish in a plastic bag and tie it up to prevent leakage during the transportation.

  • byHamidah
    Posted February 26, 2013 9:14 am 0Likes

    Hi. I am an avid recycler. Been recycling for past few years now. I appreciate if you could address my issues below:

    1) Make collection time more frequent maybe weekly instead of fortnightly so that we don’t have to keep too many recyclables at home,

    2) How do I get information on next collection date at my block coz sometimes i do not get that plastic bag provided by Sembwaste,

    3) Better communication between Sembwaste and Town Council coz once
    the cleaner at my block (Blk 635 Woodlands Ring Road) threw all my recycle items meant for collection into the refuse chute, wasting weeks of effort!

    Thanks for your attention..

    • byEugene Tay
      Posted March 7, 2013 11:10 am 0Likes

      @Hamidah, you may wish to feedback or check with NEA at 1800-CALL NEA (1800-2255 632) or

  • byjunjie
    Posted March 26, 2014 8:55 pm 0Likes

    can I recycle metal ?I have a lot of metal at home but I do not know if it is the right type.thanks

  • byzahiri
    Posted July 9, 2014 12:04 am 0Likes

    i am zahiri from malaysia..
    do u sale the used soft toys..
    if u sale its ..
    i like to buy..
    please pm me detail if u sale of bundle of used soft n hard toys to my email

  • bySiti
    Posted April 26, 2015 10:04 am 0Likes

    What happens to the clothes that are placed in the recycling bin?

  • byRamona Lai
    Posted May 24, 2016 2:00 pm 0Likes

    Pls provide list of recyclable items as need to educate helper. If containers stained with food are not acceptable, what about milk cartons.

  • byBavani
    Posted June 25, 2017 6:35 pm 0Likes

    Hello, I sew alot and I have alot of fabric scraps. Can i recycle them by putting in the recycle bins?

  • by
    Posted April 22, 2019 6:17 pm 0Likes

    Can we recycle school bags? Backpacks and others?

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