SINGAPORE - Consumers will from Thursday (July 1) be able to deposit their electronic waste (e-waste) at more than 300 collection bins placed at convenient locations such as malls and supermarkets.
The scheme signals the start of a new government e-waste management system that is part of a national drive to encourage people to recycle, following a successful soft launch in June.
The aim is to collect about 20,000 tonnes of e-waste annually. Items can range from large appliances like refrigerators; equipment related to information and communications technology (ICT), such as laptops; and smaller things like light bulbs and batteries.
Announcing the start of the scheme at furniture and electronics retailer Harvey Norman at Millenia Walk on Wednesday, Senior Minister of State for Sustainability and the Environment Amy Khor said some 60,000 tonnes of e-waste is generated in Singapore annually, equivalent to each person throwing away about 70 mobile phones each year.
This volume is expected to increase as electronic devices become more prevalent.
She said: "E-waste has to be handled properly to recover valuable resources, as well as to prevent hazardous substances from harming our environment and our health... Reducing and recycling e-waste is crucial towards making Singapore a zero-waste nation."
As at Tuesday, more than 1,000kg of e-waste had been collected, after the soft launch on June 4, the National Environment Agency (NEA) said on Wednesday.
This consisted mainly of printers, mobile phones, light bulbs and personal computers.
Calling the response promising, NEA said more bins will be placed at public areas such as shopping malls, community centres, supermarkets and retail outlets.
These bins will replace receptacles from existing voluntary recycling programmes, such as those run by various industry organisations, making it more convenient for consumers to recycle their e-waste.
The nationwide e-waste system is based on the Extended Producer Responsibility scheme, where producers are responsible for managing the end-of-life disposal of electrical and electronic products that they supply to the Singapore market.
This means producers will have to collect the end-of-life products from consumers at no extra charge, and send the products for proper treatment and recycling.
E-waste is one of the priority areas identified under Singapore's Zero Waste Masterplan - a plan to reduce one-third of the waste sent to Semakau landfill by 2030.
The e-waste collection services will be run by Alba E-Waste Smart Recycling, a local entity under the Alba Group, an international waste management company, for five years till June 30, 2026.
Alba E-Waste general manager Fons Krist said he expects large household appliances to make up the bulk of the weight of the deposited items, and added that the focus now is setting up the infrastructure for Singaporeans to conveniently recycle their e-waste.
This can be done through multiple collection avenues, such as dropping off items at e-waste recycling bins, bulky item disposal services provided by town councils, or collection services by some retailers.
Consumers will also be able to earn points when they recycle their e-waste through Alba's Step Up mobile application. The points can be used to redeem other points, including from Grab, and vouchers for services such as ride-hailing, food delivery and bicycle-sharing, and for beauty products and environmentally friendly goods.
Users of the app can look for a QR code at the collection channels, scan it and take a picture of the e-waste they drop off to be rewarded with points.
Some key locations of the e-bins:
1. Best Denki outlets at VivoCity, Plaza Singapura, IMM, Funan mall, Waterway Point, Bedok Mall, Clementi Mall
2. Cash Converters outlets in Jurong Gateway Road and Tampines Central 1
3. Challenger outlets at Bugis Junction, Eastpoint Mall, Jurong Point
4. City Square Mall, Compass One
5. Cold Storage at Kallang Leisure Park, Giant Hypermarket in Tampines (for batteries and bulbs only)
6. FairPrice outlets at VivoCity, Changi Business Park, Parkway Parade (for ICT equipment, batteries, and bulbs)
7. Gain City outlets at Marina Square, Sungei Kadut
8. Sheng Siong outlets at Housing Board estates, including Woodlands, Tampines, Ang Mo Kio (for batteries and bulbs)
9. Government buildings - People's Association and Pasir Panjang Terminal Building 3
More locations will be added weekly, and the full list can be found at Alba E-Waste's website.
Collection channels that members of the public can recycle their e-waste:
- E-waste bins at public places
- Removal of large household appliances through the bulky waste disposal services provided by town councils
- Quarterly collection drives held at residential estates
- Doorstep collection by Alba E-Waste
- Drop off at Alba E-Waste depot at 20 Tuas Loop, Singapore 637350
- Over-the-counter collection services at participating retailers, or free one-for-one take back of the discarded product upon delivery of a new product