About 18,000 residents of Built-to-Order (BTO) flats in new HDB precincts will receive a voucher of a free recycling bin sponsored by IKEA Singapore, which can be redeemed from 24 August 2019.
This initiative was launched by the National Environment Agency (NEA) and IKEA Singapore to inspire more households to recycle right and recycle regularly, by making it easier for them to recycle.
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.
A household recycling survey was earlier conducted in 2018 by the Ministry of the Environment and Water Resources (MEWR) and it was found that 60 per cent of Singapore households recycled regularly.
According to the authority, convenience was indicated as an important enabling factor for recycling. Respondents also revealed that the most common reason for not recycling was that they had too few items to recycle.
In addition, NEA said that the survey results also showed habits playing a major role in the recycling behaviour of households. 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 into a new home. This would include new homeowners, who are likely to be more receptive to making changes to their routines and establishing new recycling habits.
NEA also conducted six focus group discussions from February to March 2019 with members of the public from different walks of life, to find out their preferences for the type of recycling receptacles – an adhesive hook, a standard S-hook and a cardboard box – that would best facilitate regular recycling at home. Out of the three prototypes tested, the cardboard box was the most preferred option. In general, respondents preferred a recycling receptacle that was durable, washable, functional, and in neutral colours.
The recycling bin takes into account these feedbacks 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. Each recycling bin has a prominent blue recycling label, which comes with useful recycling tips like ensuring that recyclables are free from food and liquids and rinsing bottles and containers before recycling them.
Depending on the amount of recyclables, a typical household can accumulate recyclables for at least a few days before depositing them into the blue recycling bin at the bottom of the block or recycling chutes on the common floor landing, at any convenient time.
NEA will also be giving out fridge magnets during the recycling bin redemption period, to guide households on what can or cannot be recycled.
In the next few months, eligible residents of BTO flats in new HDB precincts, such as MacPherson, Bidadari, Sembawang and Sengkang, will receive their voucher by mail. Each voucher can be used to redeem a free recycling bin at either IKEA Tampines or IKEA Alexandra.
Mr Tan Meng Dui, CEO of NEA, said, “We are happy to work with IKEA Singapore to encourage households to make recycling a daily household 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. The recycling bin also brings the “recycling right” message right into the homes of these residents. NEA will continue to work with partners and stakeholders not just to encourage the public to recycle more, but also raise awareness on how to recycle right. Together, we can build a sustainable Singapore.”
Soh Bee Lian, Head of Sustainability, IKEA Southeast Asia, said, “We see it as a responsibility to use our reach and knowledge about life at home to offer practical solutions to integrate sustainability into people’s homes. People, government and the business community coming together can make a difference. Through this partnership with NEA, we hope to help homeowners in Singapore make recycling a part of their everyday life.”
To increase awareness on recycling, NEA said that it also provides information on how and what to recycle, as well as the locations of the nearest recycling bins and recyclables collection points, through its website, social media and the myENV mobile app.
NEA is also refreshing the design of the blue recycling bin labels to improve the presentation of information on recycling, to help more people recycle right. More details on the new recycling bin label will be revealed later this year.