Instead of throwing away old and unwanted materials and items, why not use your creativity to turn these waste into useful items and stylish decorations or art. Start a DIY (do-it-yourself) project to reuse your waste material and items. Here’s some local inspiration:
Didier Ng is a local designer who reuses waste material and objects, and turns them into original lifestyle and fashion products like lamps, furniture, bags, wallets and accessories. Each piece of her work is unique and shows that there is no such thing as waste. Some of the waste that she reuses include plastic bottles, rubber tyres, used banners and rice bags.
Agy is a local eco designer and have been refashioning clothing and fabric. She also conducts talks and workshops on upcycling and wearable technology.
Singapore Makers is the community platform for Makers in Singapore and also features a list of Makerspaces in Singapore where people can work on making stuff and DIY projects.
Web Resources on DIY and Crafts
More online resources on how to DIY and make crafts:
An example of how to make necklaces from old magazines and newspaper:
An example of how to make a tote bag from old clothing:
If you have old or unwanted items that are still in good condition, consider giving them to someone or donating them to charity. You can give it away through the following ways:
1. Give Away Online
The Singapore Freecycle Network is part of the global Freecycle movement that allows anyone to give away or receive items for free on its Facebook Group or Yahoo! Groups. Another similar Facebook Group is the Singapore Neighbourhood Freecycle.
Pass It On is a Central CDC initiative that allows the public to donate unwanted items (home appliances, home furniture, medical aids, mobility aids, and learning aids) in good working condition to Voluntary Welfare Organisations (VWOs).
YouSwop is an online community that allows people to exchange items for something they need for free.
2. Give to Charity or to Others
The Salvation Army operates Family Thrift Stores that receives donations-in-kind from the public and companies, and resells them to support social programmes. You can find a list of the locations of Family Thrift Stores and donation bins at the Salvation Army website.
The Tzu Chi Recycling Points and the monthly Recycling Day collects items like clothes, electrical appliances, school bags, leather, belts, shoes, soft toys, CDs, etc.
Blessings in a Bag is a non-profit project that partners with communities, orphanages, schools, and homes across Asia to provide for the needs of underprivileged, abused and medically-ill children. They accept donations for items (in good condition) such as activity mats, blankets, clothing (for newborns to teens), craft material (paint, construction paper, crayons, coloured pencils, etc), educational toys, story books and educational books (for toddlers to primary reading level), school bags for children, and tote bags.
Singapore Really Really Free Market is a temporary market where everything is free. Anyone with stuff to give away are welcome to set up a stall.
3. Use the Recycling Programme
Old clothing and soft toys or electrical items can be placed in the recycling bags or bins under the National Recycling Programme. These items are usually sold by the recycling collectors. Contact your recycling collector to check what used items can be placed inside the recycling bag or bin.
If you have old or unwanted items that are still in good condition, consider selling them away for cash. You can sell them through the following ways:
1. Sell to Traders
Cash Converters operates retail stores that buy and sell unwanted goods. It’s a convenient way for you to sell your items. Visit the Cash Converters website to see what items they want to buy and their locations in Singapore.
Sell your used items to the karang guni men or to the “Collectors and Traders for Multiple Waste Streams, Electrical Items, Furniture and Clothing” listed in the NEA website.
2. Sell Online
You can sell anything online at eBay. Just register as an eBay seller, create your item listing and sell online.
Carousell allows you to sell your unwanted stuff via mobile or web. The items are categorised under clothing and accessories, home and lifestyle, hobbies and gadgets, and entertainment.
Some tools in the house such as the hammer, screwdriver, electric drill, handsaw, ladder and toolbox are not used frequently. If you have these tools, share them with your relatives and friends. If you don’t have the tools, you can ask around and borrow them. By sharing and borrowing, you reduce the need to buy new tools and free up storage space.
You can also borrow or share other items like newspapers, magazines, party decorations, cutlery, kitchen appliances, audiovisual equipment, CDs, DVDs, etc.
BlockPooling is a social network for neighbourhoods and you can use the platform to share and borrow items from your neighbours.
Rent Instead of Buying
Renting items is cheaper than buying them, and by reusing an item among several people, it helps to reduce the resources used in its production and packaging, and creates less waste disposal after its use.
Rent Tycoons provides a platform that allows you to rent out your items to others and earn money.
Other rental services include:
1. Rent home and office furniture:
2. Rent VCDs and DVDs:
3. Rent children toys and baby equipment:
4. Rent designer bags:
5. Rent maternity wear and gowns:
There are also rental services for sports equipment, audiovisual equipment, books, electrical appliances, computers and more. So before you buy something, think about whether you should rent it instead.
Instead of throwing away spoilt items, equipment and electrical appliances immediately, why not try to repair them yourself or send them for repair. Some items just need a bit of fixing or connecting loose wires and parts.
Repair Kopitiam is a community repair meet-up for people to go to a designated space to repair simple items guided by specialists.
Repair Services in Singapore
You can find the following repair services in the Yellow Pages:
- Air Conditioning Equipment & Systems-Repairs & Cleaning
- Computers, Personal-Servicing & Repairs
- Electric Appliances-Major-Repairs
- Electric Appliances-Small-Repairs
- Electric Equipment-Service & Repairs
- Furniture Repairs & Refinishing
- Mobile Phone-Rental &/or Repairs
- Shoe Repairs & Rebuilding
If you’re looking for a licensed water service plumber to do some water repairs, check out the PUB website. If you’re looking for a licensed electrical worker to do some electrical repairs, find one from the EMA website.
Fix It Yourself
If you wish to fix an item yourself, check out the following online resources on repairing and DIY:
Or you can also find out more repair resources from books at the library.
You might need to read the user manual for the product that you’re fixing. Here’s some online user manuals: