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Sort It Out 

Sort it Out or SiO is the second and newest iteration of Zero Waste SG's Let's Recycle Together movement, with the name change reflecting a refined focus on waste segregation for recycling.

 

Launched in June 2024, we advocate for waste segregation i.e. separating out recyclable materials like paper, plastic, metals and glass at the point of waste generation in households, through research, education and pilot projects involving dedicated single material recycling bins.

Why SiO?

Domestic recycling can be done in one of two ways:

comingled vs segregated.jpg

Let's look at single-stream recycling

In single-stream recycling, dedicated recyclers or recycling collectors pick up deposits of the same (hence single) material to process them into recycled material. If the recycled material is then used in the manufacture of new products, this is known as closed-loop recycling, which helps drive the circular economy! 

single-stream.jpg

Besides facilitating single-stream and closed-loop recycling, sorting at source has the following benefits:

  1. Reduces contamination by sorting and storing clean recyclables in different receptacles

  2. Smaller carbon and energy footprint when the step of backend sorting and cleaning is saved

  3. Produces higher quality recyclables which recyclers can process and sell more easily, driving the circular economy

  4. Promotes a cleaner environment by nudging behaviours towards waste consciousness and more meaningful treatment of the trash we generate

READ OUR REPORT HERE ON THE CASE FOR SORT IT OUT!

What does being "waste-conscious" mean?

01

Waste is not invisible; it is the product of consumption

Every time we use resources to make something to fulfil our needs and wants, we leave behind waste as a byproduct. And that waste needs to go somewhere!

Waste is the result of consumption, regardless of whether we are in a linear or circular economy. Of course when we practice the 3Rs and drive the circular economy, we use less virgin resources and extend the lifespan of existing products instead of letting it go to waste.

THUS THE KEY IS ALWAYS TO PRACTICE MINDFUL CONSUMPTION IN THE FIRST PLACE.

02

Only when we pay attention to waste, can we learn how to manage it

Instead of seeing our waste as something that is whisked away (and taking for granted Singapore's very efficient waste management infrastructure), looking after the byproducts of consumption fosters a sense of communal responsibility.

 

We not only want to cut down on the waste that is generated, but if and when it is generated, we will want to segregate and dispose of it properly - be it through segregated recycling or general waste disposal.

03

Being waste conscious is the nexus between zero waste and public hygiene

If we all develop habits to reduce and sort our waste, we keep our environment clean and move towards a zero waste nation, together.

Recycling hubs in Singapore

Actually, segregated recycling bins may not be such a new concept in Singapore already! There are textile, e-waste, paper and sometimes plastic recycling bins set up all across the island. These bins complement NEA's blue comingled bins which collect paper, plastic, glass and metal recyclables, and they work together to provide a more comprehensive recycling infrastructure for residents.

In most cases, the segregated material bins are standalone, but sometimes we may see them in a cluster, forming what Zero Waste SG terms as Recycling Hubs. See examples below:

IS THERE A RECYCLING HUB NEAR YOU?

Check out the map below - and help us populate it to keep it up to date! Contact us to update locations.

The recycling hub map can also be found at this link.

SiO fundraiser!

Zero Waste SG continues to advocate for waste segregation at source, in particular supporting Singaporeans to transition to a landscape where segregated recycling is more prevalent, along with upcoming legislation on packaging waste.

 

HELP PRESEVE OUR ONLY LANDFILL.

Your support will help us run SiO outreach activities like talks and roadshows, create publications on the best waste segregation practices and pilot projects, with an ultimate goal to also influence community and locale partners to host more recycling hubs for convenient yet effective domestic recycling.

In doing so, you will be directly preserving our only landfill Semakau.

Eligible donations to Zero Waste SG are tax deductible.​

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