Cost effective to have a single recycling bin

We thank Mr Arie Chooi Bo Wen for his suggestion on providing separate chutes for the four main types of recyclables (Have a chute each for main recyclables; April 10).

Singapore has adopted the commingled collection system where all four types of recyclables (glass, metal, paper, plastic) can be deposited into a single recycling bin.

Residents do not have to sort them. The recyclables are deposited together in the recycling bins or recycling chutes, and are collected for sorting at Material Recovery Facilities instead.

This system is also practised in various parts of the United States, Europe and Australia, and has been proven to be cost effective.

We agree with Mr Chooi that education is key to sustaining a recycling culture.

Towards that end, we have developed a Preschool 3R Awareness Kit to help kindergarten teachers plan class activities on the 3Rs (reduce, reuse, recycle), and also implemented the School Recycling Corner programme.

The Character and Citizenship Education programmes nurture values such as responsibility and care, and provide opportunities for students to engage in environmentally-friendly activities.

The National Environment Agency also holds the annual Youth for the Environment Day, a platform for young people to lead and participate in environmental activities, such as recycling drives within their neighbourhoods.

More information and tips are available at NEA's website at http://www.nea.gov.sg/ energy-waste/3rs and through the myENV mobile app.

A 3R video for households is also available on NEA's Clean Green Singapore YouTube channel.

Ong Soo San

Director
Waste and Resource Management Department
National Environment Agency

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on April 19, 2017, with the headline 'Cost effective to have a single recycling bin'. Print Edition | Subscribe