SINGAPORE: Can’t separate your rubbish because you don’t have a recycling bin at home? That excuse will no longer hold for 18,000 households, who will get a free recycling bin in a joint initiative by the National Environment Agency (NEA) and IKEA Singapore.
The initiative aims to help more households recycle regularly by making it easier for them, said NEA and IKEA in a news release on Thursday (Aug 1).
“The recycling bin allows households to accumulate their recyclables at home, and it also serves as a visual reminder to encourage regular and correct recycling habits,” the release said.
Over the next few months, residents of Build-to-Order flats in new Housing and Development Board (HDB) precincts – such as MacPherson, Bidadari, Sembawang and Sengkang – will receive a voucher by mail to redeem the recycling bin.
About 18,000 households will receive the voucher, which can be used from Aug 24 at either of the furniture retailer's two outlets at Tampines and Alexandra.
The bins are fully sponsored by IKEA Singapore, said NEA. They currently retail at S$9.90, IKEA added.
Household recycling surveys conducted last year by the Ministry of Environment and Water Resources and NEA found that around 60 per cent of Singapore households recycled regularly.
For these households, convenience was cited as an important factor for recycling. For residents who did not recycle, the most common reason was that they had too few items to recycle. Respondents also said habits play a major role in their recycling behaviour.
“New habits and routines are more likely to be cultivated when there is a change in one’s life circumstances or environment, such as when moving in to a new home," NEA said. "This would include new homeowners, who are likely to be more receptive to making changes to their routines and establishing new recycling habits."
RECYCLING BIN TAKES INTO ACCOUNT PUBLIC’S FEEDBACK: NEA
NEA also conducted six focus group discussions with members of the public from February to March to find out their preferences for recycling receptacles – an adhesive hook, a standard S-hook and a cardboard box. The cardboard box was the preferred option, the agency said.
Respondents generally preferred a recycling receptacle that was durable, washable, functional and in neutral colours, it added.
“The recycling bin takes into account this feedback, and further improves on the form of the recycling receptacle to be rolled out. The bin provided by IKEA Singapore is also made from 60 per cent recycled plastic with a design that easily fits into any home,” NEA said.
A typical household can accumulate recyclables for at least a few days before depositing them into the blue recycling bins found at the bottom of HDB blocks or recycling chutes on common floor landings, it said.
A prominent blue recycling label will be affixed to the bins, with recycling tips such as ensuring that recyclables are free from food and liquid, and rinsing bottles and containers before recycling them. Fridge magnets will also be given out to guide households on what can or cannot be recycled.
NEA chief executive Tan Meng Dui said the agency hopes to encourage households to make recycling a daily routine.
“For the HDB households which will benefit from this new initiative, the in-home recycling bin makes recycling things more convenient than disposing them as garbage. This is happening for the first time in an HDB living environment,” he said.
NEA said it will also improve the design of the labels on the blue recycling bins to help people recycle right. More details on the new label will be announced later this year, it said.