7 Types of Recycling at HDB Housing Estates in Singapore

January 25, 2011 by  
Filed under Insights

Do you know that there are 7 common types of formal and informal recycling at HDB housing estates in Singapore? If you’re staying in a HDB flat, you would likely come across or participate in one or more of those types of recycling.

Let’s take a look at the 7 common types of recycling in HDB estates:

1) National Recycling Programme (NRP)

The National Environment Agency (NEA) has implemented the National Recycling Programme (NRP) since 2001, where recycling bags or bins are given to residents living in HDB housing estates and landed properties. These recycling bags and bins are provided by the licensed recycling contractors and the recyclables are collected once every two weeks at the doorstep.

2) Centralised Recycling Depositories (CRDs)

To complement the NRP, NEA has requested the recycling contractors to place centralised recycling depositories (CRDs) at all HDB estates, since August 2007. There will be a CRD for every 5 blocks of flats and the locations of the CRDs can be found at OneMap under the Environment – Recycling Bins theme.

3) Recycling Exchange

The recycling contractors usually organise a recycling exchange once a month by working with the Residents’ Committee (RC) to set up recycling stations for residents to exchange their recyclables for cash or food items. For example, Colex has the Cash for Trash Programme in the Jurong sector, and Veolia has the Recycling Exchange Initiative (REIT) in the Pasir Ris-Tampines, Bedok, and Tanglin-Bukit Merah sectors.

4) Tzu Chi Recycling Day

During the Tzu Chi Recycling Day, which falls on every second Sunday of the month from 8.30am to 11.30am, the Buddhist Compassion Relief Tzu Chi Foundation volunteers will set up recycling points at housing estates in 14 locations across the island. The volunteers encourage residents to bring their recyclable items from their houses and to help in the sorting of the items.

5) School Recycling Collection

There are frequent school recycling collection initiated by students to collect newspapers and old clothing for fundraising or for charity. The students doing the recycling collection for an area usually have to work with the licensed recycling contractor who are in-charge of the NRP for that area, and sell the recyclables to them.

6) Karang Guni Recycling Collection

The traditional unlicensed karang guni man or rag-and-bone man goes from door-to-door to collect items from residents, such as newspapers, televisions, radios, and computers. The karang guni man usually pays residents for the items. The items are sold to a waste recycling company or to a secondhand dealer.

7) Informal Recycling Collection

The informal recycling collection is usually done by the unlicensed poor elderly, who go through the rubbish bins in the neighbourhood and pick up recyclables such as newspapers, carton boxes and drink cans, from the bins. They usually sell the recyclables to a waste recycling company or to a secondhand dealer.

Sell for Cash

December 8, 2008 by  
Filed under Reuse

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.

Place a free online ad on STClassifieds or Gumtree Singapore to sell your item.

Electrical and Electronic Waste Recycling

December 8, 2008 by  
Filed under Recycle

Electrical and electronic items such as televisions, refrigerators, washing machines, handphones, computers, printers, and batteries are increasingly being disposed as waste after use. These waste are also known as e-waste and they are posing an environmental problem as most of these waste products contain toxic chemicals and can affect the environment and our health if they are incinerated or landfilled.

In addition, there is also the problem of e-waste being dumped in developing countries and recycled in an unhealthy and pollutive manner. Watch this video on the problem of e-waste:

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EXzsqTFwV3Q[/youtube]

According to the National Environment Agency, about 60,000 tonnes of e-waste are generated every year in Singapore. Singaporeans are known to be big users of electrical and electronic products, thus we can imagine the significant problem of e-waste here.

Let’s take a closer look at e-waste recycling:

E-Waste Recycling in Singapore

Used electrical and electronic items are commonly sold to the karang guni men, secondhand traders and shops, or traded-in when buying the new items. The used items are refurbished and sold locally or exported overseas for reuse.

Other used electrical and electronic items, and electronic scrap from industries are also sent to local e-waste recycling facilities where precious metals such as gold and platinum are extracted, and recovered materials such as plastics are sent to local recycling companies.

Collectors, Traders and Recycling Companies for E-Waste

To find a recycling collector or someone who wants your e-waste, check out NEA’s list of collectors and traders.

For companies, you can use the online business waste exchange, Waste is not Waste, to find someone who wants your waste.

What Can I Do

First, reduce your e-waste by asking yourself whether you need to buy new stuff like IT equipment and handphones frequently. Remember to Buy and Use Only What You Need.

If you have some electrical and electronic items that you don’t want but are still in good condition, try to Give It Away or Sell for Cash before recycling them.

You can also check out NEA’s list of take back programmes for e-waste.