SINGAPORE: Refuse collection fees for households are set to increase for the first time since 2017 at the beginning of next year, the National Environment Agency (NEA) said on Tuesday (Nov 30).
This is to keep up with the operational and manpower costs of providing household refuse and recyclables collection services, the agency said in a media release.
From Jan 1, refuse collection fees for households living in HDB flats and private apartments that have not opted out of the public waste collection scheme will rise to S$9.63 per month - an increase of S$1.38.
Those living in landed premises will pay S$32.07, or S$4.60 more.
The refuse collection fee for each of the housing type is derived by considering the weighted average of the Public Waste Collectors’ (PWCs) charges, as well as changes arising from contractual adjustments, NEA said.
“Over the past few years, average PWCs’ charges have increased in tandem with rising operational and manpower costs,” the agency added.
But as refuse collection is traditionally labour-intensive and the demand for waste collection services is rising, it is not sustainable to continue increasing manpower to meet the service demand, said NEA.
There is therefore a need to transform the sector to increase efficiency, promote growth and create better jobs in the industry.
"Reducing the need for more manpower and other resources helps to manage costs," it added.
"As part of our efforts to uplift and transform the waste management industry, NEA works with PWCs to adopt innovative solutions and technologies to improve productivity and efficiency."
SUPPORT FOR HOUSEHOLDS
Households can use the Goods and Services (GST) Voucher – U-Save rebates to offset the refuse collection fees.
The scheme helps eligible HDB households with their utility expenses, which include the refuse collection fee, it said, adding that the next tranche of the U-Save rebates will be disbursed in January 2022.
Those facing financial difficulties can also approach their nearest social service office for assistance, the agency said.
“NEA will continue to partner stakeholders to transform the sector and develop the 3R culture in Singapore, to achieve the vision of becoming a Zero Waste Nation. Reducing, reusing, and recycling our waste will reduce the pressure on our waste disposal system and ensure the sustainable management of household waste,” it added.