Written Reply to Parliamentary Question on Sensors in Recycling Bins by Ms Grace Fu, Minister for Sustainability and the Environment
Dr Lim Wee Kiak: To ask the Minister for Sustainability and the Environment (a) whether she can provide an update on the trial project to install sensors in recycling bins within HDB estates; and (b) what measures are being implemented to address the issue of overflowing recycling bins.
1 The appointed Public Waste Collector (PWC) for the Ang Mo Kio-Toa Payoh sector has been working to set up its proprietary recycling bin sensor system. The trial, which was initiated and funded by the PWC, will help reduce the incidence of bin overflow through sensors that prompt the collection of recyclables once the recycling bin is filled to a certain level. The trial has been delayed due to procurement, logistics and manpower challenges resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic. The PWC intends to commence the trial later this year, and the National Environment Agency (NEA) will work with the PWC to evaluate the outcome of the trial.
2 NEA requires PWCs to ensure that recyclables are collected in a timely manner. Since April 2020, PWCs have increased the frequency of recyclables collection for the 660-litre recycling bins at HDB estates from once to at least three times a week. If more recyclables are accumulated, the collection frequency can be further increased. Side-loading recycling bins, with more than three times the capacity of front-loading bins, have also been introduced in estates where there is space to accommodate the larger bins and side-loader trucks.
3 Everyone can do their part to help prevent overflowing recycling bins. This includes flattening cardboard cartons before depositing them in the bins, which will help to make better use of available bin space. We should also avoid placing non-recyclables, such as general trash, Styrofoam and soft toys, in the recycling bins. Regulated electrical and electronic products such as ICT equipment and large household appliances should be recycled at e-waste collection points instead.
4 The public can refer to the RecycleRight website (www.go.gov.sg/recycleright) to check what can and cannot be deposited in the recycling bins.