Public must put in effort to recycle e-waste

I was heartened to read that the National Environment Agency is considering regulating e-waste recycling (Steps to shrink mountain of e-waste via better recycling; Jan 20).

When throwing away e-waste, besides the adverse environmental and health impacts from leached toxins, there is also the wasted opportunity of recovering precious metals.

Urban mining - the recovery of raw materials from the electrical and electronic waste of a city - is much more effective than traditional mining, and will become more efficient as natural ore deposits become more scarce.

Placing the onus on product suppliers will certainly help, particularly for items like refrigerators or printers.

However, given the wide variety of smaller electronic products, such as computer mouse and power banks, it is the public that needs to put in the effort to recycle.

There is actually a convenient way of recycling e-waste now: StarHub's Renew (Recycling Nation's Electronic Waste) programme has more than 400 bins islandwide, many of which are accessible 24/7.

Members of the public can visit StarHub's website to look for the nearest Renew bin to do their part and recycle their e-waste.

Adam Reutens-Tan

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on January 23, 2018, with the headline 'Public must put in effort to recycle e-waste'. Print Edition | Subscribe