Separate bins for general waste, recyclables

Singapore should learn from the Japanese, who have made recycling the norm both at home and in public places ("How to make recycling the norm" by Mr Darren Chan Keng Leong; last Wednesday).

In Japan, garbage is separated into three categories: burnable, non-burnable and recyclable.

Garbage collection in Tokyo households is scheduled according to the waste categories - burnable garbage every Monday and Thursday, non-burnable garbage every Tuesday and recyclables every Wednesday.

This forces all the households to sort their garbage for collection.

Most rubbish bins in public have at least two containers - one for general waste and one for recyclables.

At the airport, there are three containers at each rubbish bin point - for burnable garbage, non-burnable metal cans and plastic bottles, and recyclable paper, respectively.

Even its fast-food outlets have two containers at their bin points to separate garbage from plastic.

For a start, all rubbish bins in Singapore should have at least two separate containers: one for normal garbage and one for recyclable paper and/or plastic.

Wong Boon Hong

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on December 28, 2015, with the headline 'Separate bins for general waste, recyclables'. Print Edition | Subscribe