Environmental News Archive

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Recycling rates up; NEA plans more types of recycling

By Li Peng/Joanne Leow, Channel NewsAsia
14 May 2006

SINGAPORE : Singapore's goal of recycling 60 percent of its waste by 2012 looks to be on track, with both households and companies recycling more every year over the past three years.

The National Environment Agency says more can be done, and it plans to increase recycling for food, wood, and horticultural products.

The NEA says that in the past three years, all JTC Corporation factories have joined in recycling efforts.

In addition, the number of households that have taken up recycling has gone up by 10 percent.

Said Yang Hong, senior executive (resources conservation), NEA, "By the end of 2007, every five blocks of flats will have a recycling bin or collection point. We are going to give residents not only recycling bags but also recycling bins."

The NEA is pushing ahead with its recycling campaign, and some local recycling companies hope that the government can follow the example of countries like Korea and Japan by legislating incentives for companies to recycle.

Said Jolyn Chua, of Recycling Point Dot Com, "We hope that the government will seriously consider making companies set aside a recycling fee to help recycling companies lower their overhead costs."

NEA says this measure would only lead to increased costs for companies which would be passed on to consumers.

Instead, it believes companies should look into how they can reduce industrial waste, for example by encouraging major computer companies to recycle their own used products.

Besides reducing waste, the NEA is also working to reduce air pollution when it incinerates rubbish.

Said Ms Yang, "Singapore's waste incinerators are using the most advanced technology and at the point where the smoke is generated, we have air purifier machines so that what is released falls within national air safety standards."

Using the heat generated by incineration to produce energy is also another way that Singapore can be environmentally friendly. - CNA /ct