Dead Phone, Dead TV Throw Where Ah: Eco-Friendly E-Waste Disposal In Singapore

·8-min read
We really have to stop contributing to the 54,000,000 kg of e-waste that Singapore reportedly generates every year.
We really have to stop contributing to the 54,000,000 kg of e-waste that Singapore reportedly generates every year.
We really have to stop contributing to the 54,000,000 kg of e-waste that Singapore reportedly generates every year. | Original Photo: 123RF

Your smartphone is on its last legs. You’ve used your worn-out laptop for as long as you could.

It’s time to switch to a new device, but what do you do with your old gadgets that can’t be repaired or traded-in? How about your broken down TV and standing fan at the corner of your room. Ever wondered where you could recycle or safely dispose of your tech gadgets and electronics when they become unusable?

Smartphones, computers, laptops, TVs – basically any electric and electronic equipment powered by an electrical source like a power socket or a battery, that we want to throw away – are classified as e-waste.

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And, tolong lah, don’t just chuck them into the bin! Your e-waste usually contains toxic metals such as mercury, lead, and cadmium that could harm the environment when it seeps into the soil or water.

Plus, did you know that Singapore generates 60,000 tonnes (that's over 54,000,000kg) of e-waste per year? That’s comparable to every one of us throwing away 73 phones each annually!

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If it doesn’t make it to the Semakau landfill, then it goes to one of our incineration plants. Not only are valuable resources like gold and silver being burnt away, but the emissions produced by burning plastic, glass, and metals also contribute to climate change and global warming. Don’t forget the toxic metals in the incineration ash too. Yikes.

So what should we do? Recycle! When we recycle our e-waste, we’re doing our part to save the environment. Recycling plastic, gold, silver, and copper in e-waste lowers the need to produce or mine for new materials and reduces our carbon footprint.

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However, you shouldn’t simply pack our gadgets up and throw them into the blue recycling bins. Instead, we need to send them to one of the hundreds of e-waste recycling designated spots in Singapore.

This is important, as e-waste recycling is specialised – there are various components that need to be dismantled and reprocessed for use in new products, and this must be done in a controlled environment to prevent pollution and safeguard workers’ health and safety.

WHERE TO RECYCLE?

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There are several e-waste recycling programmes in Singapore that partner with the Singapore National Environment Agency (NEA). Under this partnership, industry partners will take the lead in these recycling programmes, with NEA’s support and recognition.

How to properly dispose and recycle your e-waste!

At StarHub, we’re advocates of the green movement. That means disposing our old phones, tablets, laptops responsibly and recycling e-waste to save the environment. How can we dispose of e-waste properly? Where should we go to recycle e-waste? Check out the video for tips on how to properly dispose and recycle your e-waste. Recycle right, recycle now! Join us as we work towards building a Zero Waste Singapore. Find out more at starhub.com/renew

Posted by StarHub on Wednesday, 15 July 2020

1. StarHub RENEW

StarHub’s Recycling Nation’s Electronic Waste (RENEW) programme has placed more than 400 e-waste recycling bins around the country, and sees a collaboration with DHL Express and TES Singapore: DHL Express picks up the e-waste and sends it to TES Singapore for recycling. The RENEW programme allows for most e-waste to be recycled from any brand, as long as it’s within 47cm x 12cm in dimension.

Click here for RENEW locations.

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2. Singtel and SingPost ReCYCLE

You can dispose your e-waste at these Singtel shops and Singtel exclusive retailer outlets: ComCentre, Jurong Point, Tampines Mall, Bedok Mall, Compass One, ION Orchard, and Westmall. Alternatively, you can request for a ReCYCLE envelope from any Singtel shops and Singtel exclusive retailer outlets or at any SingPost to mail your e-waste for free. The bin’s deposit slot dimensions are 22cm x 8cm.

Click here for ReCYCLE locations.

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3. Punggol North Eco-Drive

The Punggol North Eco-Drive e-waste recycling programme is led by Virogreen Singapore together with the management community of the Punggol 21 Community Club. If you live in the area, you can send your e-waste to be recycled at one of the 10 locations in Punggol North, as long as it fits into the 45cm x 15cm deposit slot.

Click here for Punggol North Eco-Drive locations.

4. NECDC e-waste recycling programme for North-East residents

Yet another e-waste recycling programme in collaboration with Virogreen, this is led by the North-East Community Development Council (NECDC). You can dispose of nearly any electrical and electronic item as long as it fits into the 47cm x 15cm deposit slot.

Click here for NECDC e-waste recycling programme bin locations.

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5. M1 drop-off point programme

M1 also has an e-waste recycling programme in collaboration with Virogreen Singapore. You can discard your e-waste at any one of the M1 shops at Waterway Point, Tampines Mall, Causeway Point, or The Paragon, as long it fits within the 47cm x 15cm deposit slot. There is a smaller slot on the top right for inserting memory cards.

Click here for M1 shops that offer the e-waste recycling programme.

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6. City Square Mall e-waste recycling programme

City Square Mall is an eco-mall with plenty of green features, so it’s no surprise that it has its own e-waste recycling programme. No large bulky items such as TVs and fridges, but in addition to gadgets you could also bring desk fans and electric irons for recycling here. Swee lah.

Visit the customer service counter at City Square Mall L2.

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7. Shell-Metalo e-waste recycling programme

Now you can safely discard your e-waste for recycling after fuelling up your car. Shell has tied up with Metalo International to place e-waste recycling bins at 24 Shell petrol stations in Singapore. This recycling bin has one of the larger deposit slots at 55cm x 22.5cm.

Click here for Shell-Metalo e-waste recycling locations.

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8. Project Homecoming – for ink and toner recycling

This programme spearheaded by Canon and Epson has ink and toner cartridge recycling bins at 20 NLB libraries in the country, which are collected and then shipped to TES Singapore for recycling. Project Homecoming accepts all ink and toner cartridges regardless of brand.

Click here for Project Homecoming locations.

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9. IKEA light bulb recycling

Looking for a place to recycle your light bulbs or fluorescent tubes? Just deposit them at the collection bins located at IKEA’s lighting department and wrapping stations.

For more information, check out IKEA’s website.

IMPORTANT! WIPE YOUR DATA CLEAN

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While these e-waste recycling centres will do their part to ensure all data is completely destroyed, you should do your part to ensure your private data isn’t compromised before you dispose of your old smartphone or laptop. If you can still switch it on, of course.

To factory reset an iPhone

Go to “Settings” > “General” > “Reset” > “Erase All Content and Settings”.

To factory reset an Android

Go to “Settings” > “System” > “Erase all data” > “Reset Phone”. When prompted, choose select Erase Everything. This can differ slightly between different Android phones.

For Intel MacBooks

You can perform a factory reset by holding down the Shift + Option + Command + R keys as the MacBook is booting up until the Apple logo appears on the screen to reinstall MacOS.

For M1 MacBooks

Hold your power button as your switch your MacBook on. Click “Options” that appears, enter your password, then “Disk Utility” > “hard drive” (Macintosh HD by default) > “Erase”. You’ll be asked to type a new name (just type Macintosh HD), then “Format” in APFS. Next, click “Erase Volume Group” > enter your Apple ID > click “Erase Mac and Restart”.

For Windows 10 users

Go to the “Start Menu” > “Settings” > “Update & Security” > find the Recovery menu > “Reset this PC” > click “Get Started”. Choose to erase data thoroughly for better data deletion. This process may differ slightly for each computer manufacturer.

To format and clean up your USB thumb drive before disposing it

In Windows 10 you right click the USB drive icon under “Computer” or “This PC” > “Format” > choose “FAT32”, and click OK when you’re ready. For Mac, go to Disk Utility > select the USB drive in the left panel > click “Erase” on the top left > choose “MS-DOS (FAT32) > Erase.

With an abundance of e-waste recycling options islandwide, there’s no excuse to improperly dispose of your e-waste anymore. Do your part to ensure that our earth continues to be liveable for generations to come.

What e-waste can Geeky Gary recycle?

You can’t be tech-savvy without being e-waste savvy too! #DidYouKnow that you’re harming the environment when you don’t dispose of your electronics properly? So if you can’t donate or repair your old gadgets, recycle them. By doing so, you’re sending your e-waste to proper facilities where recyclable materials (including precious metals such as gold, silver and palladium) can be safely extracted and then reused to make new products! Here are some common e-waste items you can recycle and more info on how to do so. #EveryActionCounts #TowardsZeroWaste

Posted by National Environment Agency (NEA) on Wednesday, 19 June 2019

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