SINGAPORE – Households in Singapore can now collect free home recycling boxes from vending machines at more than 140 locations.
Known as Blooboxes, the foldable, washable and reusable boxes are meant to make recycling more convenient for residents so that they will recycle more regularly.
In a pilot distribution in November and December 2022, the boxes were made available to residents of five neighbourhoods – Fengshan, Sembawang West, Tampines North, Yio Chu Kang and Yuhua.
More than 8,600 households collected the boxes during the pilot.
At the launch of the nationwide distribution of the Blooboxes on Sunday, Dr Amy Khor, Senior Minister of State for Sustainability and the Environment, said: “We hope that by encouraging residents to set up a recycling corner at home, they will be reminded to recycle more regularly, as well as to recycle right.”
The recyclables collected in a Bloobox can be dropped off at blue recycling bins or recycling chutes, which are more common in newer Housing Board blocks.
“I believe this will help to reduce the contamination in blue recycling bins, which has been at around 40 per cent. When there is contamination, the other items cannot be recycled, and it is a waste of others’ recycling efforts,” said Dr Khor.
“So by encouraging residents to recycle more and recycle right, we will not only divert the amount of waste that goes to Semakau Landfill, but also turn trash into treasure and reduce carbon emissions.”
The Bloobox can hold up to 5kg of paper, plastic, metal and glass recyclables, as well as electronic waste. It has instructions printed on it to help residents identify what can and cannot be recycled.
For example, while paper and plastic can be recycled, styrofoam and food-stained items cannot. Food or liquids should also not be placed in the Bloobox.
Residents can use a removable divider provided to create a separate compartment for small electronic waste items, such as light bulbs and batteries.
From Sunday, the Bloobox can be collected from vending machines across Singapore at common spaces such as community clubs and selected bus interchanges.
Those collecting the boxes can do so by scanning their NRIC or FIN cards, or their Singpass digital NRIC. They can also key in their NRIC number or FIN manually. Residents have until April 30 to do so.
In response to a query by The Straits Times, the National Environment Agency said it will work with stakeholders in the public, private and people sectors after April 30 to distribute any remaining Blooboxes at outreach events and suitable platforms – with the aim of encouraging households to set up a recycling corner.
Ms Jeeto Kaur, 68, who was among the first to collect a Bloobox at Hong Kah North Community Club on Sunday, said she plans to use it to encourage frequent recycling habits among her neighbours.
“I plan to place my recycling box in the corridor outside my flat and let my neighbours know that they can throw any recyclables into the box,” said the retiree.
“At the end of the day or when it’s full, I will collect and separate the items and throw them into the recycling chute opposite my block. This is a good way for us to begin the habit of recycling often as we can do it from home.”