Recycling infrastructure: NEA replies

We thank Mr Eric Teo Hong Kiat for his letter ("Cultivate recycling habit with right infrastructure"; last Tuesday).

We agree with Mr Teo on the importance of having a recycling infrastructure. The National Recycling Programme was launched in 2001 to enable residents to do their part in recycling. Since then, the National Environment Agency (NEA) has worked with town councils and public waste collectors to enhance the recycling infrastructure by providing a recycling bin for every HDB block.

The recyclables in the bins are collected at least thrice a week and the frequency of collection is stepped up for those bins with a high volume of recyclables.

To further enhance the recycling infrastructure, new HDB developments launched from last year are designed with recycling chutes.

With the added convenience of a recycling chute, residents can play a bigger part in recycling.

NEA is also working with shopping malls in Singapore to provide recycling bins for their shoppers to recycle. NEA encourages more businesses and retailers to provide recycling bins on their premises.

We also agree that there is no better time to inculcate good habits than when one is young. Hence, NEA collaborates with schools to implement the School Recycling Corner Programme.

The programme involves the setting up of recycling corners in schools, with recycling bins provided by the public waste collectors and informative materials on the 3Rs (Reduce, Reuse, Recycle) put up by students at the recycling corners.

Since 2009, all primary and secondary schools, as well as junior colleges, have implemented recycling programmes.

A 3R Awards for schools was also introduced in 2003 to complement the School Recycling Corner Programme and recognise schools for their efforts in promoting the 3Rs to students as well as to the community.

A Pre-school 3R Awareness Kit has been developed to assist kindergarten teachers in planning activities to educate their pre-schoolers on the importance of practising the 3Rs, as well as what and how to recycle.

Ong Soo San
Waste and Resource Management Department
National Environment Agency

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 27, 2015, with the headline 'Recycling infrastructure: NEA replies'. Print Edition | Subscribe