Recycling initiative to turn electronic trash into cash for Straits Times School Pocket Money Fund

HP Singapore managing director Mr Lionel Chng (left) and MP for Chua Chu Kang GRC (Bukit Gombak) Ms Low Yen Ling with Bukit Batok residents before recycling their electronic waste during South West Community Development Council's annual trash-for-groceries recycling drive on Jan 14, 2018. ST PHOTO: MARK CHEONG
Besides going into schools to collect e-waste, the initiative encourages residents in the district to drop off their e-waste at various recycling points. ST PHOTO: MARK CHEONG

SINGAPORE - A recycling initiative is hoping to turn trash into cash for charity, by donating funds raised from recycling electronic waste to help needy students.

The HP Make IT Green Campaign, which will run until the end of this year, aims to collect 10,000 used personal computers, laptops and display monitors - or about 50,000kg of e-waste - over the next 12 months.

It is part of Clean Up South West, the South West District's annual trash-for-groceries recycling drive.

Besides going into schools to collect e-waste, the initiative encourages residents in the district to drop off their e-waste at various recycling points.

All funds from the refurbished devices will be donated to The Straits Times School Pocket Money Fund.

Mayor of South West District, Ms Low Yen Ling, who was at the Clean Up South West recycling drive on Sunday (Jan 14), said the amount of e-waste has increased with the growing use of electronic devices.

"If not disposed properly, electronic items can pollute our environment and harm our health," she added. "That's why we are enhancing our efforts in public education and awareness, and ramping up our drive to recycle e-waste."

She said that "not only will recycling make Singapore clean and green, it will bring cheer to those in need".

The campaign was launched by the South West Community Development Council (CDC), the National Environment Agency (South West Regional Office) and HP Singapore.

Mr Lionel Chng, managing director of HP Singapore, said the launch of one of Singapore's largest e-waste recycling efforts is "our commitment to building community awareness and creating a circular economy that supports a good cause".

On Sunday, residents took their recyclables, such as clothes and newspapers, to 41 recycling points across the district in exchange for groceries, through the Clean Up South West recycling drive, which is in its 13th year.

The collection points included community centres and residents' committee centres.

Some 200 volunteers were stationed at selected points to guide residents on recycling the correct way, such as separating their recyclables by material - plastic, paper or glass.

The drive is organised by the South West CDC and the NEA (South West Regional Office), and supported by grassroots organisations in the district.

Among those who took their recyclables to a collection point was Mr Kenny Lim, 59. He and his wife Loo Ming Chwee, 53, recycled their clothes, newspapers and a used laptop.

Mr Lim, an operations manager, said: "We wanted to do our part to recycle things that we do not need. We can also use this chance to help those who are in need."

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