NEA working to cut cost of waste collection

We thank Mr Lim Tong Wah and Ms Tay Yu Shan for their respective letters ("More details needed on waste collection fees" and "Sort recyclables at source to reduce costs"; both published last Wednesday).

Waste collection services are provided by public waste collectors (PWCs), which are privately owned companies. PWCs are appointed by the National Environment Agency (NEA) through an open tender system, and they serve different regions in Singapore.

PWC contracts are awarded based on tendered fees, which are then recovered from consumers on an overall basis.

Each household pays a monthly refuse collection fee through its monthly utility bill.

This differs from the system for determining public transport fares, which is based on a price regulation model.

To moderate fee increases, the NEA has been working closely with the waste collection industry to explore technology enablers and other means to increase productivity in the waste collection process.

The system of providing a single blue bin for commingled recyclables is a cost-effective method that is practised in various American cities as well as in parts of Europe and Australia.

It allows for the efficient collection of recyclables, and is also more convenient for residents, as they do not have to sort their recyclables.

To further facilitate recycling, Cash for Trash collection has also been implemented by the PWCs, where residents can exchange recyclables for cash.

Members of the public can download the NEA's myENV mobile app to check for their nearest Cash for Trash location.

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 November 14, 2016, with the headline 'NEA working to cut cost of waste collection'. Subscribe