Ways to recycle e-waste

With consumers replacing their tech gadgets more frequently, the proper disposal of electronic waste, or e-waste, is becoming more important.

More than 60,000 tonnes of e-waste is generated annually in Singapore, according to the National Environment Agency.

E-waste can contain valuable materials such as aluminium that can be extracted through recycling. However, they also contain hazardous materials like mercury, sulphur and cadmium, which require careful handling and disposal.

Instead of throwing electronic items into the main rubbish chute, a safer and eco-friendlier alternative is to recycle them in approved recycling bins.

PC manufacturer Dell runs a programme in which the company picks up Dell-branded products like laptops or printers for recycling.

Consumers can also recycle their electronics under the REcycling Nation's Electronic Waste (RENEW) programme, led by telco StarHub, delivery firm DHL and recycler TES-AMM.

They can drop off their items, which can be from any brand, at any of the 235 bins currently located at 185 locations, such as schools, malls and offices.

Items that can be recycled include mobile phones, printers, modems, laptops, wires and cables, and hard disk drives.

StarHub aims to add 100 more bins by end of the year and to expand the programme's reach to include more collection bins in public areas such as community centres, under a partnership with the Community Development Councils.

This opens up more convenient locations for people to dispose their unwanted electronics and cut down on unwanted waste.

Ever since the RENEW programme started two years ago, some 62,000kg of e-waste has been collected and recycled. Cables, laptops and modems make up the top three items that have been recycled over the same time period.

More information on what can be disposed and recycled, and a list of bin sites under the RENEW programme, can be found on www.starhub.com/renew.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 28, 2016, with the headline 'Ways to recyle e-waste'. Print Edition | Subscribe