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Three In Five Households Recycled Regularly In 2021 – Singaporeans Are Encouraged To Recycle More And Recycle Right

14 Jan 2022

Individual household recycling receptacles will be issued later this year to make recycling at home more convenient.

Singapore, 14 January 2022 – At the launch of the Recycle Right 2022 campaign today, Minister of State for Sustainability and the Environment, Mr Desmond Tan, urged members of the public to recycle more and recycle right through the proper use of blue recycling bins and recycling chutes. While Singapore continues to make recycling convenient for households and educate residents on the benefits of recycling, around 40 per cent of contents deposited into the blue recycling bins and recycling chutes cannot be recycled due to contamination by non-recyclable materials[1] and food and liquid waste.

Awareness on recycling

2          The latest survey on household recycling conducted in 2021 by the National Environment Agency (NEA) saw positive findings. Three in five Singapore households reported that they recycled regularly. Eight out of 10 households were aware that recyclables collected from blue recycling bins and recycling chutes were sorted at central sorting facilities, representing an improvement from 2018 (57 per cent). Fewer households (6 per cent) had the misconception that recyclables were mixed with general waste and incinerated, compared to 12 per cent in 2018.

3          Most households were aware that common recyclables generated at home, such as shampoo or detergent bottles, beverage cartons, glass bottles and plastic egg cartons could be placed into the blue recycling bins. However, households were less aware of items that should not be deposited for recycling. For instance, about half of those surveyed thought that soft toys and Styrofoam items could be recycled.[2] The survey also found that 72 per cent were not aware that households did not need to sort their recyclables before depositing them into the blue recycling bins or recycling chutes.[3]

4          To make recycling more convenient for households, Singapore has a single-stream recyclables collection system where households can place four types of recyclables – paper, plastic, glass and metal – into recycling bins and recycling chutes. This not only saves on the effort for households to segregate recyclables at home, but also reduces the carbon footprint of collecting recyclables, when compared to the multiple truck trips needed for the separate collection of different recyclable streams. Currently, all HDB blocks have one recycling bin per block or a recycling chute, while landed houses each have a dedicated recycling bin. At condominiums and private apartments, one recycling bin is also provided for each residential block. These bins, as well as the dedicated recyclables collection trucks, are all coloured blue to differentiate them from the general waste bins and the refuse collection trucks.

5          Under the Zero Waste Masterplan and the Singapore Green Plan 2030, our national goal is to achieve a 70 per cent overall recycling rate by 2030 and reduce the amount of waste sent to Semakau Landfill by 20 per cent per capita per day by 2026. If we do not reduce waste generation, given our current rate of waste disposal, Semakau Landfill is expected to be full by 2035. Through recycling, we can not only divert waste from Semakau Landfill, but can also turn trash into treasure and close the resource loop as part of a circular economy.

New Recycling Mascot Bloobin

6          The Recycle Right campaign was first started in 2019 to help Singaporeans understand how to recycle correctly. Under this campaign, the Ministry of Sustainability and the Environment (MSE) and NEA worked with members of the public to co-create refreshed recycling labels, which have been placed on all blue recycling bins and recycling chutes.

7          For this year’s campaign, NEA is introducing a new recycling mascot named Bloobin, who is a disgruntled blue recycling bin frustrated by the years of contamination, and on a mission to educate the public on how to recycle right. Please refer to Annex A for more details on Bloobin and Recycle Right 2022.

8          Educational and user-friendly content has been developed to encourage the public to cultivate good recycling practices. Bloobin stickers at general waste and recycling chutes at public housing developments will serve as a last-mile reminder to nudge households to check their items before appropriately disposing of them as general waste or recyclables.   To nurture proper recycling habits, interactive educational resources such as an e-activity book for pre-schoolers and e-games for older students will be made available. To develop deeper and more meaningful engagement programmes, an Inter-Institutes of Higher Learning challenge, ‘Ready, Set, Recycle’, will be launched to mobilise youth to take action for recycling.

9          To work collectively for Singapore’s future, NEA is collaborating with the community, non-Governmental organisations, corporate and industry partners to encourage the public to recycle more and recycle right, and to explore and implement new methods of making recycling convenient in neighbourhoods and homes.

Greater convenience for e-waste and household recycling

10        To nudge households to step up their recycling efforts, NEA will be working with local Public Waste Collectors to distribute a recycling receptacle to each household in 2022. More details will be announced at a later stage. There is also an ongoing trial of using transparent recycling bins at Hong Kah North Single Member Constituency and East Coast Group Representative Constituency to facilitate an intuitive and informed recycling process amongst the public. The establishment of a Producer Responsibility Scheme for regulated e-waste on 1 July 2021 resulted as well in the setting up of dedicated e-waste bins around the island and the scheduling of e-waste collection drives at housing estates, making the recycling of such waste more convenient.  

[1] Non-recyclables in the blue recycling bins/recycling chutes include items, such as tissue paper, wet wipes, Styrofoam food containers, pizza boxes and items meant for reuse, such as old clothing, toys and shoes.

[2] No statistically significant difference compared to the household survey results in 2018.

[3] The corresponding figure in the 2018 household survey was 69%.

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Details of Bloobin and Recycle Right 2022 Campaign

Details of Bloobin and Recycle Right 2022 Campaign

Bloobin’s Origin Story

20 years ago, Bloobin started out as a dreamer full of hope. He believed that when everyone banded together to recycle, we could create a greener Singapore with less waste sent to Semakau Landfill.

Over the years, however, Bloobin felt that Singapore’s recycling rate showed insufficient improvement. And he became increasingly frustrated, due to constant bin contamination…  and it was breaking his heart. People had been treating the blue recycling bins as trash bins and he has finally had enough of the years of abuse and misuse! 

So Bloobin is now on a mission to get everyone to recycle right, which will help increase recycling rates and extend the lifespan of Semakau Landfill.

Recycle Right – Key Assets

Educational Posters

Educational Posters     

Visual Cue at Recycling and Trash Bins

Visual Cue at Recycling and Trash Bins

Website Filter – What can or cannot be Recycled

Website Filter – What can or cannot be Recycled