Singapore has been taking steps towards a greener future and a green recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic.
Awarded license to operate a Producer Responsibility Scheme
For Singapore to be more sustainable, one of these changes includes managing the country's waste better.
On Feb. 11, NEA announced that it has awarded the license to operate a Producer Responsibility Scheme (PRS) in Singapore to German waste management firm ALBA Group plc & Co. KG.
As the PRS Operator, ALBA will collect regulated consumer electronic waste (e-waste) across Singapore to properly treat and recycle it for five years, from July 1, 2021, to June 30, 2026.
NEA stated in their press release that ALBA has a "demonstrated track record" in operating PRS in other countries like Germany and Hong Kong.
"ALBA also has a local presence and is familiar with the local waste landscape and e-waste recycling industry," NEA stated.
Under this new license, NEA has set specific e-waste collection targets that ALBA has to fulfill. These targets vary between different types of e-waste.
ALBA will also have to set up e-waste collection avenues — which include e-waste receptacles, scheduled collection drives and ad-hoc doorstep collection services — for the public and businesses to drop off their e-waste.
E-waste collected by ALBA will then be sent to licensed e-waste recyclers.
ALBA will also track and report to NEA the amount of e-waste collected for treatment via a data management system.
Additionally, the company will organise outreach programmes to raise awareness on and promote e-waste recycling.
In Singapore, more than 60,000 tonnes of e-waste is generated annually, according to an NEA study published in 2018.
Of these, only 6 per cent was recycled.
Holding producers accountable for their waste
Implementing an Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) Scheme to tackle this waste issue was previously mentioned in 2019, when the new Resource Sustainability Act was passed.
The EPR scheme holds producers accountable for their waste.
In terms of e-waste, producers of regulated electrical and electronic products above the prescribed supply thresholds will have to pay the PRS operator, ALBA, for the collection and proper treatment of the e-waste.
Producers supplying products above these thresholds must join the PRS and support the scheme financially.
Those supplying below the thresholds need not join the PRS.
All producers are also required to register with NEA and report the weight of regulated products supplied in Singapore to NEA, annually.
Additionally, retailers that operate shops with floor areas of 300m2 or more will be required to set up in-store collection services for various equipment and products.
Retailers must also offer customers free take-back services for unwanted products upon delivery of a new similar product. This is regardless of where the older products were bought from.
Top photo from Peter Dazeley / Getty Images