Pay as you throw

Are S'poreans ready?

Each HDB household currently pays $8.25 a month for waste regardless of the amount thrown away.
Each HDB household currently pays $8.25 a month for waste regardless of the amount thrown away.PHOTO: THE NEW PAPER

The possibility raised by a National Environment Agency official that Singapore residents may in future be asked to "pay as you throw" would be a novel idea for Singaporeans, but may not be the most practical ('Pay-as-you-throw' system to limit household waste?, March 15).

Under such a system, households are charged for refuse collection based on the amount of trash they throw away, providing a direct economic incentive for residents to reduce waste by recycling more.

However, I question whether we are a mature enough society to adopt such a practice.

It may, instead, result in the public disposing of their trash in other ways, such as placing it at void decks, which would lead to other issues such as pest infestation.

There is a need to educate people on the importance of recycling and ways to minimise wastage.

We already have recycling bins available. Yet, how frequently is recycling practised by Singaporeans?

Current practices should be reviewed to assess whether it is viable to implement "pay as you throw" policies.

Kumar Pillay Thangavalu

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 22, 2019, with the headline 'Are S'poreans ready?'. Print Edition | Subscribe