With the effects of climate change becoming more prominent in our daily lives, it is worrying that the domestic recycling rate dropped from 22 per cent in 2018 to 17 per cent in 2019.
Despite these statistics, I believe that many people want to recycle their things, just that there is a lack of knowledge about what can and cannot be recycled. When in doubt, most will dispose of items as general waste instead.
I applaud the efforts of the National Environment Agency (NEA) in tackling this issue in recent years. For example, it has considered residents' feedback and improved the labels on recycling bins, included a QR code for people to access recycling information and curated a comprehensive list online of what can be recycled.
Although the list is comprehensive, some items are still uncategorised, such as stapler bullets, soap bottle pumps and stickers, or tape attached to food packaging.
Thus, I suggest that NEA set up a WhatsApp channel or Telegram bot to make information more accessible. Residents can key in an item to check if it is recyclable.
This would be similar to how Beijing residents use WeChat to obtain information on which category an item belongs to while sorting their waste.
This channel or bot can also include frequently asked questions, including how to handle contaminated material, how to clean contaminated items and whether residents can recycle materials without a recycling symbol.
Glenyse Lim Rui Qi