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I Tried To Recycle My Trash For A Day, This How It Went

What goes into the blue bin?


Singapore’s recycling rate has remained consistently low and almost 40% of things in recycling bins are not recyclable, these items are either contaminated with food and liquids or composed of non-recyclable materials. The contamination and convenience hurdles stand in the way of increasing local recycling rates, and therefore I tried recycling my trash for a day to find out if going green can be easily incorporated into an average Singaporean’s lifestyle.

Read Also: 6 Ways To Make Money By Recycling In Singapore.

Starting The Day Off With A Hearty Breakfast, Waste Produced From Food Packaging Might Be Recyclable

Packaging such as bread bags milk cartons and egg trays are recyclable, but have to be emptied and rinsed before disposing in recycling bins.

However, disposables such as paper cups from your morning coffee are non-recyclable and has to be disposed as general waste.

Other disposables such as chopsticks and paper plates are also non-recyclable and should be disposed as general waste.

When Grabbing Lunch, Opt For Non-Polystyrene Foam Takeaway Containers

Non-polystyrene foam takeaway food containers are also recyclable, but has to be rinsed before recycling.

However, plastic packaging with foil such as potato chip bags are non-recyclable.

Polystyrene foam products and plastic disposables are not recyclable.

Recycle Receipts And Plastic Bags After Grocery Shopping

Receipts and plastic bags (except for oxo- and bio-degradable bags) from grocery shopping are recyclable.

Preparing Dinner After Work, Product Empties Can Be Recycled

Empty metal cans, condiment bottles, and beverage glass bottles can be recycled, but has to be rinsed before recycling.

Unpacking Purchases Before Bed, Packaging Might Be Recyclable

Plastic film/flexible packaging such as bubble wraps from online purchases or magazine wrappers and film packaging for canned drinks can also be recycled, but cardboard boxes has to be flattened before recycling. Empty metal cans from beverages can also be recycled, but has to be rinsed before recycling.

Location: FairPrice Ang Mo Kio Ave 6

Rechargeable batteries are recyclable, but can only be recycled at specific collection points. They have to also be placed in leak-proof container/bags before recycling to reduce risks of short-circuits and fire hazards. We can check NEA’s location guide for the nearest E-waste Collection Points.

Household batteries are non-recyclable, and can only be disposed as general waste.

After this experience, I have been more mindful of the waste I produce from a day-to-day basis. I have learnt more about what items can be recycled other than just cardboard and paper and to use our blue bins more responsibly. After this experience, I feel that recycling is not simple, but it is possible. The Zero Waste Masterplan’s guide to what is recyclable was helpful in determining what can or cannot be recyclable.

Read Also: 7 Platforms In Singapore For Buying Pre-Loved Items So You Can Save The Earth And Money While Shopping

PhotoStory by Alicia Thiam

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