Start Recycling at Home

December 8, 2008 by  
Filed under Recycle

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.

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33 Responses to “Start Recycling at Home”
  1. Sudhir says:

    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.

  2. Antoinette says:

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

    • Eugene says:

      Well, they are recycled!

    • Celine says:

      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!

  3. Shirley says:

    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.


    • Eugene says:

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

  4. kim says:

    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!

  5. Margaret says:

    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?


  6. watsup says:

    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?

    • Eugene says:

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

  7. Cecilia says:

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

  8. Stacey says:

    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.

    • Eugene Tay says:

      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.

  9. Katez says:

    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.

  10. Iris Tham says:

    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?

    • Eugene Tay says:

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

  11. Maryam says:

    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!

  12. steffi says:


    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!

    • Eugene Tay says:

      @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.

  13. Hamidah says:

    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..

  14. junjie says:

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

  15. zahiri says:

    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

  16. Siti says:

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

  17. Ramona Lai says:

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

  18. Bavani says:

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

  19. ... says:

    Can we recycle school bags? Backpacks and others?


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