SINGAPORE: Domestic recycling rates have stagnated in recent years and in order to give this a boost, new non-landed residential developments will need to install dual chutes for refuse and recyclables, announced Senior Minister of State for the Environment and Water Resources Amy Khor on Wednesday (Mar 8).
Dr Khor said during her ministry's Committee of Supply debate in Parliament that domestic recycling rates have stagnated at around 20 per cent in recent years and to help bring the country closer to its domestic recycling target of 30 per cent by 2030, MEWR will reshape the infrastructure in the physical environment to make recycling more convenient for households.
Already, all new Build-To-Order (BTO) Housing and Development Board (HDB) flats have installed recycling chutes adjacent to centralised refuse chutes at every level since January 2014.
"Studies have shown that households living in apartments with dual chute systems recycle up to three times more than those in apartments which do not have such facilities," she said.
The ministry is ready to widen adoption, which is why buildings taller than four storeys in all new non-landed private residential developments will be required to install dual chutes. This applies to new applications submitted from Apr 1, 2018, she said.
WASTE COLLECTION SYSTEM TO BE TRANSFORMED
Dr Khor also agreed with Members of Parliament Chia Shi-Lu and Cheng Li Hui that the current methods of manual waste collection in older flats are manpower-intensive and unsustainable. As such, the ministry will transform the waste collection system into a more efficient, manpower-light one.
She pointed to the Pneumatic Waste Conveyance System (PWCS), an automated system which transports waste by air suction through a network of pipes to a central collection station, as the solution. The system had been piloted at Yuhua in Jurong under the HDB Greenprint Programme.
Going forward, PWCS will be installed in new HDB areas such as Tampines North and Bidadari, while private developers such as City Developments and CapitaLand have done likewise. More than 100 condominium developments, such as the Palette at Pasir Ris and Sky Habitat at Bishan, have installed the system, she added.
To improve the efficiency and hygiene of waste collection, all new non-landed private residential developments with at least 500 dwelling units will need to be installed with PWCS, Dr Khor said. This measure will apply to all new non-landed residential development applications submitted from Apr 1, 2018, she added.
"We have consulted extensively with industry players, including the Real Estate Developers’ Association of Singapore (REDAS) and have taken their feedback into account in determining the threshold limits and implementation date," Dr Khor said, adding that it will work closely with managing agents and community partners to educate residents on the correct use of the PWCS.