Can recycle or not ???

“Can Recycle?“ initiative by ZeroWasteSG has checked with NEA and compiled a list of 70 common waste items that can or cannot be recycled!! VERY USEFUL! You can recycle plastic bags apparently. So let’s stop incinerating toxic plastics waste into the atmosphere!

In Singapore, recycling efforts for paper, glass, plastic, metal, old clothes and toys is supposed to be sorted by households into one big recycling bag or one big recycling bins. Households are either given big green plastic bags to collect recyclable trash and place it outside their doors on designated days, or big green recycling bins are placed in designated locations in the neighbourhoods. Locations of bins are listed in a spreadsheet on NEA, or alternatively use the interactive map provided by ZeroWasteSG to find your nearest recycling bin.

Paper, glass, plastic and metals can be converted to a resource for re-use as raw materials. Old clothes and toys will be shipped to Third World countries to be re-used. See the video by Semcorp to find out how they use manual labour to do sorting to gain insight about what goes on behind the scene.

A brief summary of what Singapore recycles/ not recycles is listed below, but the best listing is found on Can Recycle? with a photo-listing of 70 common trash items :

What is currently acceptable for recycling?

* Paper and cardboard (e.g. newspapers, magazines, junk mail, receipts, envelopes, paper packagings etc)
* Hard Plastics (e.g. bottles, detergent/ shampoo containers, take-away food packagings, biscuit casings)
* Soft Plastics (e.g. NTUC plastic bags, all plastic bags that are stained with food scraps or oil, clean/ dry straws, clear plastic wrappings for clothings, files etc)
* Metal (e.g. tins, cans, bottle caps, coils, springs, empty aerosol containers etc). NOTE: All and any small bits of metallic trash can be picked up for recycling using magnets.
* Glass bottles and jars (and also their metal caps/ lids)
* Glassware that are chipped but still whole or unbroken/ unshattered (e.g. water glass, wine glass etc.)
* Paper Cartons/ Boxes(e.g. tissue box, shoe box, moving cartons
* Clothing, Stuffed Toys. NOTE: Consider giving these items away for free if they are in usable condition via the global Freecycling network by simply joining the Yahoo Group Freecycling Singapore and posting an email Re: Offer: 5 pairs of Ladies Shoes size 6 or Re: Offer: Baby Pram/ Stroller.

What is NOT currently acceptable for recycling?

* Styrofoam (polystyrene)
* Broken glass, window glass, light bulb and mirror
* Ceramics, porcelain or stoneware
* Used tissue/ toilet paper
* Single batteries e.g. AA or AAA (can be disposed in common trash for incineration since most batteries in Singapore bears no mercury or low-mercury)
* Mobile phones and phone batteries can usually be recycled via the manufacturers e.g Nokia etc)
* Spectacles (some NLB National Libraries, e.g. Woodlands, have a collection box for old spectacles, including sunglasses, to be donated to third world countries)