Parliament: Dual waste chutes for new private flats to spur on recycling

All new non-landed private residential estates with more than four storeys will soon have a dual chute system for rubbish disposal - one for recyclables and one for trash.
All new non-landed private residential estates with more than four storeys will soon have a dual chute system for rubbish disposal - one for recyclables and one for trash.PHOTO: NEA

SINGAPORE - Plans are afoot to encourage private apartment dwellers to recycle more, and make it easier for cleaners to collect their trash.

All new non-landed private residential developments with more than four storeys will soon have two waste chutes - one for recyclables and the other for trash that will be incinerated.

In addition, those developments with at least 500 housing units must have a pneumatic waste conveyance system, which will transport waste from rubbish chutes to a central collection area via a network of pipes, removing the need to manually collect rubbish.

Senior Minister of State for the Environment and Water Resources, Dr Amy Khor, announced these measures during the debate on her ministry's budget on Wednesday (8 March).

They will kick in for developers that apply to build new non-landed residences from April 2018.

The initiatives are aimed at helping the Republic hit its goal of recycling 70 per cent of its waste by 2030.

 

At present, about 60 per cent of waste generated is recycled, most of which comes from the industrial sector. The non-domestic sector has a recycling rate of 77 per cent, but the domestic recycling rate has stagnated at around 20 per cent in recent years, even falling from 22 per cent in 2010 to 19 per cent in 2015.

The authorities hope the convenience offered by dual chutes will encourage more residents to recycle.

Such infrastructure is already in place at 72 new Build-To-Order projects comprising close to 426 blocks islandwide, as of April last year, and have been effective.

Dr Khor said studies have found that households living in apartments with dual chute systems recycle up to three times more than those in apartments which do not have such facilities.

"We are now ready to widen the adoption of such systems," she said.

Similarly, pneumatic waste conveyance systems (PWCS) have also been installed at more than 100 private residential developments, as well as HDB housing estate Yuhua in Jurong East. New HDB housing estates at Tampines North and Bidadari will also be equipped with such a system.

"The whole system will be enclosed, and residents will enjoy a more liveable environment, with a reduction in pest nuisance, odours and exposed waste," said Dr Khor.

She added that the environment ministry will study the feasibility of implementing PWCS at a district level, where different developments can be connected to the same network to reap greater economies of scale.

"An automated and enclosed network of district-level PWCS would bring us even closer to our vision of a manpower efficient waste collection system in a liveable environment," she said.