How to recycle your electronic waste responsibly in Singapore

·Lifestyle Contributor
·3-min read
A 3-in-1 bin for recycling ICT equipment, batteries and light bulbs placed at Harvey Norman Millenia Walk. (PHOTO: NEA)
A 3-in-1 bin for recycling ICT equipment, batteries and light bulbs placed at Harvey Norman Millenia Walk. (PHOTO: NEA)

It’s June, and if you’re the sort to do a bit of mid-year spring cleaning, chances are, you’ve come across some electronic items you want to let go of. Before you put your old Blackberry or mp3 player into the bin, we’ve got great news for you; electronics can be recycled or even sold for parts.

In Singapore alone, the National Environmental Agency reports that 60,000 tonnes of e-waste are produced annually, and only 6% is recycled. It was reported that Indonesia’s annual e-waste generation is projected to increase by 3.2 million tonnes in 20 years, which is about 10kg of e-waste per person in 2040.

While pollution and an increment in general waste are all issues we should be concerned about, electronic waste, in particular, is a lot more harmful than others. For starters, e-waste contains small amounts of heavy metals and chemicals that could potentially leach into the environment.

Want to dispose of your e-waste correctly? Here are some things you can do:

Look for a certified e-waste recycler

A quick Google search will easily reveal certified e-waste recyclers in your neighbourhood or country. In Singapore, KGS and Net-Source are just some of the recyclers certified by the National Environment Agency (NEA) for their safe and secure recycling process.

You can also look for certified drop-off points through NEA’s website here. Before dropping off your e-waste, be sure to read the website’s guidelines on how to properly drop off specific items to prevent fire hazards and short circuits.

Got an Apple device? Recycle it or trade it in!

Retailers like Apple have a trade-in programme where you can trade in old Apple devices like phones, laptops, and iPods for a new device or a credit transfer towards a new purchase. If your device isn’t eligible for credit, Apple will also recycle it for free.

(PHOTO: Getty Images)
(PHOTO: Getty Images)

Not an Apple user? Trade-in your phone anyway!

If you’re a Google Pixel user, you’re still able to trade in your phone for credit towards a new phone from the Google store.

Alternatively, check if your local telco has a trade-in programme. Most telcos usually have a trade-in programme for mobile plans. SingTel in Singapore, for example, allows customers to offset the cost of their new phone purchase depending on the value of their old phones.

Get cash for your laptops and desktops

For items that are substantially more expensive, consider selling them on sites like Trade-in.com.sg. Not only do you get to do good for the environment, but you’ll also get some money out of it.

To trade in your old computer, laptop and other devices, you’ll need to get a quote from the website and head on down to the trade-in centre or have them picked up.

Besides catering to individuals, Trade-in.com.sg also does corporate IT asset disposals for companies.

Attempt to sell off what you can and avoid purchasing new electronics all the time

One of the best things you can do to reduce e-waste is to be smart about your purchases. If you’re looking for a particular electronic item that might not necessarily need to be new, consider purchasing off sites like Facebook Marketplace and Carousell. For example, things like Bluetooth speakers, headphones, and even cables can all be purchased second hand. Just make sure to check on the quality of the items and ensure that the warranty for the items is still valid.

Before you sell, donate or dispose of your electronic items…

Make sure to do a factory reset and check all devices to ensure they’re clear of personal data and other sensitive information about you.

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