Archive for January, 2010

Recycling is Just a Ride down in the Lift

Monday, January 11th, 2010

It’s a good start towards doing our part to lessen the waste we produce, and work towards a greener Earth.

SINGAPORE – Going greener is just a lift ride away.

Residents in Canberra constituency used to haul their recyclables to a bin that could be located a few blocks away. Now, they need only bring them downstairs.

A six-month pilot project now provides for one recycling bin per Housing and Development Board block instead of one for every five blocks.The first of its kind in Singapore, it was launched yesterday by the constituency, the National Environment Agency (NEA) and SembWaste.

It involves about 1,500 units in 14 blocks in Admiralty Drive.

But there is a trade-off – the fortnightly door-to-door collection of recyclable rubbish within the blocks has been suspended for the same period to gauge residents’ willingness to bring their items down for recycling.

Member of Parliament for Sembawang GRC Lim Wee Kiak said he does not expect many complaints. Residents like to get rid of their recyclables as soon as possible, rather than collecting them for two weeks.

“We want to increase the recycling rate. The current (national) rate of 56 per cent is very good, but the target of 60 per cent recycling rate by 2012 is something we all have to work together,” said Dr Lim.

“Some residents complain it’s too far for them to walk (to the bins). So to entice them further, (it’s) better to bring the recycling bins closer.”

Dr Lim said he will push for the project to be a national programme if NEA’s evaluation shows the pilot project to be successful.

An additional 10 bins plus more manpower is now required and these will increase costs by up to 15 per cent, said SembCorp Environment’s senior vice-president for asset management C K Lim.

A corresponding 15 to 20 per cent increase in recyclables is needed to generate more revenue as the company is not charging extra for its service.

For now, one challenge is to educate residents on which items can be recycled.

The bins can be contaminated by food waste which turn all the recyclables into “rubbish”, said Mr Tan Puay Cheow, NEA’s executive engineer for waste minimisation.

Resident Oh Ah Moy, 70, said, “It’s very convenient to have the bins downstairs … (going to the bins) is like exercise.”

Having a recycling bin under each block might also increase their awareness. Mdm Li, a resident for 10 years, did not even know there were such bins in her estate. ALICIA WONG

(via todayonline 11Jan2009)