Making recycling more convenient

We thank Mr Lim Chang Siang for his feedback ("Get bin design right to make recycling easier"; Monday).

To encourage more households to recycle, the National Environment Agency (NEA) provides a blue recycling bin at the common area next to every HDB block, under the National Recycling Programme (NRP), and the recyclables are collected at least three times a week.

Landed homes are also provided with a recycling bin each, with weekly collection of recyclables.

There are labels on the recycling bins to indicate what can and cannot be recycled.

Glass, metal, paper and plastic can be deposited into a single recycling bin. This makes it convenient to recycle, as the recyclables can simply be placed in a bag and deposited into the recycling bin.

The NRP uses a commingled collection system where all four types of recyclables (that is, glass, metal, paper, plastic) can be deposited into a single recycling bin.

This makes it convenient for residents to recycle, as the different types of recyclables can simply be placed in a bag and deposited into the recycling bin at any time.

The recyclables are taken to material recovery facilities where they are sorted and sent to recycling facilities.

NEA encourages the practice of the 3Rs (reduce, reuse and recycle), as it helps save valuable resources and minimises land needed for waste disposal.

This means reducing wastage and recycling as much as possible.

Therefore, while plastic bags are needed for household waste disposal, shoppers are encouraged to decline plastic bags that they do not need and use reusable shopping bags as often as possible.

NEA also welcomes the efforts of retailers in encouraging their customers to reduce the use of plastic bags by using their own reusable bags.

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 December 10, 2015, with the headline 'Making recycling more convenient'. Print Edition | Subscribe