2008 Waste Statistics and Current Waste Situation in Singapore (Part Four)

May 5, 2009 by  
Filed under Insights

Continued from Part Three, which looked at the recycling rate of the different waste, and the opportunities for food waste reduction.

This final part explores the opportunities for reducing the generation of Paper/Cardboard and Plastics waste. We will look at campaigns, companies, services, projects and tips that help to reduce paper and plastic waste.

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Opportunities for Paper Waste Reduction

We think that there is great potential to reduce our paper mail and junk mail, and also switch to duplex printing.

epost by Canada Post

Canada Post offers a free epost box. With epost, users can have bills and other mailers sent to them electronically and allows them to view and store them online.

Zumbox

Zumbox is a paperless postal system that provides a virtual mailbox for every street address in the United States, which allows users to receive, view, organize, store and send their mail online.

Red Dot Campaign

The Red Dot Campaign is a social marketing campaign in Canada to encourage advertisers to reduce waste and resources in paper-based advertising, and evaluate their current marketing strategies.

Stop Junk Mail

Stop Junk Mail is a non-profit UK-based group giving advice on how to reduce junk mail. They also provide ‘No junk mail’ stickers for households to paste on their door and letterbox to stop unaddressed leaflets and/or free newspapers.

Voluntary Admail Reduction Program

This Voluntary Admail Reduction Program is a by-law of the City of Ottawa to regulate the distribution of unaddressed advertising material. The by-law states that:

No distributor shall distribute or cause to be distributed any unaddressed advertising material on private property if the owner or occupant of the property has affixed a sign in a conspicuous way on his or her own property, as prescribed in accordance with Schedule “A” to this by-law indicating that he or she does not wish to receive any unaddressed advertising material.

The property owner or occupant can participate in the program by purchasing a sticker to indicate their desire not to receive unaddressed advertising material.

Duplex Printing

One of the easiest way to save paper in the office is to set the printer on default to print on both sides of a sheet of paper. Here’s a guide to show you the steps for setting your printer to duplex printing.

Check out more tips on reducing paper.

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Opportunities for Plastics Waste Reduction

We think that there is great potential to reduce our use of plastic bottles, plastic bags and plastic packaging.

Tap

Tap is an ethical enterprise and campaign to get people to rethink bottled water and switch to water from the tap.

Tappening

Tappening is a campaign to educate the public about the unnecessary waste of resources and harm on the environment caused by the bottled water industry, and to encourage people to drink tap water and say no to bottled water.

Are You Ready?

This is the National Plastic Bag Campaign in Australia to help individuals and retailers move towards a phase-out or reduction in plastic bag use.

The Positive Package

The Positive Package is a campaign to share information on reducing, reusing and recycling packaging.

The Guide to Evolving Packaging Design

The online Guide to Evolving Packaging Design provides ideas, tips and tools to help retailers and manufacturers change the way packaging is produced and used.

The National Packaging Covenant

The National Packaging Covenant is a voluntary initiative by the government and industry in Australia to reduce the environmental effects of packaging.

Check out more tips to reduce plastics by avoiding disposable items and choosing products with less packaging.

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We encourage more individuals, communities, NGOs, businesses and the government to explore the mentioned opportunities to reduce the waste output of Food Waste, Paper/Cardboard and Plastics. There is potential for more awareness, campaigns, governmental and business services to reduce our waste. For a start, the new 3R Fund would be useful for providing financial support to implement these waste reduction opportunities.

Read Part One, Part Two and Part Three.

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.