More places to recycle electronic waste by year-end

SINGAPORE - People who want to recycle their mobile phones, laptops, lithium-ion batteries and other electronic waste will have more places to do so by the end of the year.

A new partnership by three firms here is expected to have more than 100 free collection bins islandwide for the waste by year-end. And over the next two to three years, hundreds more are planned for malls, major office and government buildings, Community Clubs and schools.

The three firms, DHL Express, StarHub and local electronic waste recycling firm TES-AMM, signed a memorandum of understanding on Tuesday to expand Singapore's first e-waste recycling program. The programme, which started in 2012, has bins in 30 locations.

Almost 2,700kg of waste was collected in the first year from April to December 2012. The figure rose to more than 6,500kg for 2013 and stands at more than 5,600kg for this year so far.

The collected waste, however, is still a small fraction of the 60,000 tonnes discarded each year here, half of which comes from households and the rest from industry.

Minister for the Environment and Water Resources Vivian Balakrishnan, the guest of honour on Tuesday, noted that incinerating electronic waste pollutes the environment.

"I hope all Singaporeans will think about where their waste is going before they discard it," he said.