Make being green our way of life

It is in the interest of all Singaporeans to more conscientiously practise the 3Rs: Reduce our consumption and purchase of new goods, reuse old ones, and recycle what cannot be reused.
It is in the interest of all Singaporeans to more conscientiously practise the 3Rs: Reduce our consumption and purchase of new goods, reuse old ones, and recycle what cannot be reused. PHOTO: ST FILE

The Waste Management and Recycling Association of Singapore (WMRAS) supports the call to further promote the pursuit of a more sustainable lifestyle in Singapore (Emphasise importance of sustainable lifestyle, April 25).

One way is to support the Government's Zero Waste campaign, like what we and our member companies are doing.

Singapore has limited land to dispose of its waste. If we continue to do so at the current rate, our only offshore landfill on Pulau Semakau will run out of space by 2035.

It is thus in the interest of not just the Government and WMRAS - the national trade association for waste and recycling businesses - but also all Singaporeans to more conscientiously practise the 3Rs: Reduce our consumption and purchase of new goods, reuse old ones, and recycle what cannot be reused.

Currently, a large part of the waste placed in the recycling bins that is collected by our member waste-collection companies cannot be recycled because they have been contaminated by dirt or food waste.

Singaporeans should not treat recycling bins as general waste bins, where the contents are fit for only the incinerator.

They should also not throw containers with half-consumed food, including those with gravy and sauces, used tissue paper and diapers, dirty rags, soiled footwear, clothes, toys, paint cans, leaking batteries and cigarette butts into the blue recycling bins.

Drink bottles and cans for recycling should also be emptied fully and, preferably, rinsed clean. Otherwise, recyclables in the bins may be rendered unrecyclable by the contamination of these waste items.

Some Singaporeans baulk at having to pay more for general waste collection, but this may not have to happen if households are willing to put in the effort to place cleaned recyclable waste in the recycling bins, or if workplaces, including schools, social amenities, shops, offices and factories, practise more diligently the 3Rs.

Ultimately, having a sustainable environment to live in should be incentive enough for all Singaporeans to make being "green" our culture and way of life.

Melissa Tan

Chairman

Waste Management and Recycling Association of Singapore

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 02, 2019, with the headline 'Make being green our way of life'. Print Edition | Subscribe