Written Reply by Ms Grace Fu, Minister for Sustainability and the Environment, to Parliamentary Question on E-waste Recycling Bins
Mr Melvin Yong Yik Chye To ask the Minister for Sustainability and the Environment (a) whether there is a deployment target for the number of e-waste recycling bins in HDB estates; and (b) as more e-waste recycling bins are placed in HDB estates, how does the Ministry intend to educate residents to recycle their e-waste in a better and correct manner.
Under the Extended Producer Responsibility scheme for e-waste, producers (i.e. manufacturers and importers) are responsible for the end-of-life treatment of electrical and electronic products that they supply to the Singapore market. ALBA E-waste Smart Recycling (ALBA), the appointed Producer Responsibility Scheme operator, is responsible for the collection and proper treatment of consumer e-waste on behalf of the producers.
While there is no deployment target for e-waste recycling bins, ALBA and the National Environment Agency (NEA) regularly analyse data from e-waste collection points to optimise the collection network. ALBA has deployed more than 550 e-waste recycling bins nationwide, at convenient locations such as community centres, supermarkets, electronics stores and government buildings. ALBA also works with Town Councils to organise quarterly collection drives at housing estates and collection of bulky e-waste. These efforts have resulted in 4300 tonnes of consumer e-waste being collected since the scheme started in July 2021. This is more than three times the amount collected annually under previous voluntary schemes, and about 10.5% of the consumer electrical and electronic equipment supplied in 2020.
E-waste contains valuable resources like gold, copper and cobalt. The proper segregation of e-waste for recycling will enable the recovery of these resources for use in the manufacturing of new products. As the e-waste recycling scheme is relatively new, NEA has been working with ALBA to educate residents on why they should recycle e-waste, what e-waste can be recycled, and the collection avenues available. The outreach efforts leverage mass media including TV channels, digital and social media, as well as publicity platforms of Town Councils, digital panel ads at HDB lift lobbies and Community Development Council collaterals.
To encourage recycling at home, NEA is collaborating with the Singapore Institute of Technology to design a recycling container to help households better organise and collect recyclables, including small e-waste items such as chargers and cables. More details will be announced later.