National programme complements informal recycling sector

We thank Mr Nicholas Ng Yu Heng for his letter (NEA can work with karung guni men to boost recycling; April 26).

The National Recycling Programme (NRP) was established to complement the collection of recyclables by the informal recycling sector, such as karung guni men and organisers of community events and charity drives.

Under the NRP, the National Environment Agency (NEA) provides households with an accessible, reliable and convenient avenue to recycle so as to encourage more of them to recycle.

Blue recycling bins for commingled recyclables are placed at every block in public housing estates and are provided to every household living in landed homes.

It is also mandatory for all condominiums to have recycling bins within their estates.

In fact, the amount of recyclables collected under the NRP has been steadily rising, and accounted for 11 per cent by weight of recyclables collected from households last year, up from 6 per cent in 2010.

To make recycling even more convenient, public housing developments launched since 2014 are fitted with dual chutes for refuse and recyclables.

The measure has also applied to new non-landed private residential development applications since April 1, this year.

With these chutes in place, households will find it just as convenient to recycle as to dispose of their waste.

To raise awareness of recycling in general, the NEA provides information on proper recycling habits on its website and the myENV mobile app, and "3R" videos on YouTube.

The NEA also works with schools and other community partners on public education programmes to promote recycling habits at home.

We agree with Mr Ng that we must be responsible consumers, and that active participation in recycling by everyone in Singapore is key to improving our domestic recycling rate.

We will continue to explore new measures to improve our domestic recycling rate as we work towards our vision of Singapore as a "Zero Waste Nation".

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 May 03, 2018, with the headline 'National programme complements informal recycling sector'. Print Edition | Subscribe