Part of a national drive to encourage people to recycle, a scheme such as this can never come too soon or be more useful, given the proliferation of electronic devices in all shapes and forms, and the ease and convenience of accessing information and getting things done.
At pretty much the same rate, the models, gizmos, gadgets and iterations keep morphing and changing, getting better and delivering an exactitude of operation and result that makes e-waste (WHAT do we do with what we have, how do we make space for the newer ones ?) an issue of management and disposal.
300 collection bins have been distributed in convenient locations throughout Singapore, with an aim of collecting about 20,000 tonnes of e-waste annually – from large appliances such as refrigerators and equipment related to information and communications technology to smaller items like laptops, bulbs and batteries. The bins can be found in public areas such as shopping malls, Community Centres, supermarkets and retail outlets.
About 60,000 tonnes of e-waste is generated annually in Singapore, equivalent to each person throwing away about 70 mobile phones each year. And this is expected to increase exponentially. Which goes to the questions :
- how can e-waste be recycled to recover valuable resources ?
- disposed safely to prevent hazardous substances leaching into the environment ?
- help Singapore become a zero-waste nation ?
It is interesting to note that the nationwide e-waste system is based on the Extended Producer Responsibility scheme where producers are responsible for managing the end=of-life disposal of electrical and electronic products they supply to the Singapore market. Which means they have to collect the end of life products from consumers at no extra charge and send the products for proper recycling and disposal.
How it works
- Only products such as laptops, mobile phones, TV sets, light bulbs and batteries and mobility devices such as power-assisted bicycles and mobility scooters sold to customers will be accepted for recycling.
- Alba E-waste will collect the e-waste from the collection points, which include e-bins, doorstep collection or via the retailer.
- The e-waste will be sent to Alba E-Waste’s logistics and sorting hub to be weighed and sorted before being sent to various e-waste recyclers that ensure all data stored on data-containing devices is permanently erased or destroyed before the devices are prepare for re-use or re-cycling.
- Raw material from these products will be re-cycled for use in new products and hazardous waste will be managed and disposed.
The where and how of collecting e-waste
- bins in public places
- bulky waste disposal services provided by town councils for large household appliances
- quarterly collection drives in residential estates
- doorstep collection
- drop-off at the Alba E-Waste dept @ 20 Tuas Loop
- over-the-counter collection services @ participating retailers
- free one-foe-one take-back of discarded products on delivery of a new one
SingaporeforKids welcomes this information – in The Straits Times of 1 July 2021 – and as parents of children and custodians of the world for our children, we are cognisant of the grave – and accelerating – global changes that are adversely affecting all our lives, and which will affect all the lives after us.
We need to change the way we do things; we need to take collective responsibility.