Written Reply to Parliamentary Question on Transparent Recycling Bin Trials by Ms Grace Fu, Minister for Sustainability and the Environment
Mr Leon Perera: To ask the Minister for Sustainability and the Environment (a) what are the results of the transparent recycling bin trials that were launched in Bukit Batok, Bedok, and Upper Changi; (b) whether the Ministry has plans to expand this scheme to other parts of Singapore; and (c) what other innovations and interventions have been explored to decrease the proportion of contaminated and non-recyclable items collected and increase the rate of proper recycling.
1 The results of the transparent recycling bin trials are being compiled. My Ministry will be publishing a report on the findings in due course.
2 My Ministry and the National Environment Agency (NEA) have launched other initiatives to improve recycling behaviour. In January 2022, as part of the Recycle Right campaign, NEA introduced a new recycling mascot, Bloobin, as well as educational and user-friendly content to encourage the community to cultivate right recycling habits. A search engine has also been developed to guide residents on how to identify, segregate and clean items so that they can be properly recycled (www.go.gov.sg/recycleright).
3 To encourage households to build the habit of recycling right at home, NEA launched the pilot phase of the Bloobox (or recycling box) distribution initiative in November 2022 in five constituencies – Fengshan, Sembawang West, Tampines North, Yio Chu Kang and Yuhua. Households from these constituencies were able to collect a Bloobox from vending machines deployed at locations such as community centres. The Bloobox can be used to hold recyclable items at home and has prominent labels to help households identify what can and cannot be placed in the blue recycle bins. Collection for the rest of Singapore will commence in March 2023.
4 Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) schemes also contribute to proper recycling as they aggregate clean and high-quality recyclables. The e-waste EPR that was introduced in July 2021 has since collected 8,600 tonnes of e-waste. We also plan to implement a beverage container return scheme, where a small deposit is included in the price of the pre-packaged beverages. Consumers can obtain a refund of their deposit by returning empty beverage containers to designated return points. This will drive behaviour change and cultivate recycling habits in the community.