78 very big recycling machines that give money for paper to be launched all over S'pore by end-2021

The PAP town councils will also produce mulch from excess plant materials and use it on nearby greenery.

Fiona Tan | December 08, 2021, 04:11 PM

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Have you seen this huge royal blue paper recycling machine in your estate?

Image courtesy of Melvin Ang.

Looks like ATM machine. Image via SGRecycle.

If you haven't, fret not, as there will probably be one coming to your township real soon.

The People's Action Party (PAP) announced on Dec. 4 that it will partner with SGRecycle to roll out over 78 of these paper recycling machines in HDB estates across Singapore by the end of this year.

59 paper recycling machines will be ready for use by the end of this week, and another 19 will be installed islandwide by the end of this month, a PAP spokesperson told Mothership.

One tonne of paper recycled per machine each month is estimated to be equivalent to saving 17 trees, the press release added.

Recycle paper, receive cash in return

To use the machine, members of the public will have to register for an account with SGRecycle.

Paper in the form of general scraps, letters, books, corrugated cardboard, magazines, and newspapers can be deposited into the machine.

There are sensors within the machine to weigh the amount of paper deposited.

For every 1kg of paper deposited into the machine and recycled, users will receive six reward points, or the cash equivalent to 6 cents, in their digital wallets.

According to SGRecycle's website, 1000 points is equivalent to S$10.

The minimum sum of money that one can withdraw is S$10. This can be done via PayNow, PayLah!, bank transfer.

The money can also be credited to EZ-Link via the website or the SGRecycle mobile app.

Here's a nifty video demonstrating the entire process:


You can find the locations of these paper recycling machines here.

A sustainability zone in Jalan Besar

The paper recycling machine was officially unveiled at Jalan Besar Town Council's new sustainability zone at Blk 68 Geylang Bahru last Saturday.

Image courtesy of Melvin Ang.

This dedicated all-in-one recycling zone is where residents can find a RecycleNSave reverse vending machine to recycle plastic bottles, an ALBA e-waste bin to recycle electronic waste, and the upsized blue recycling bin for general recycling.

Image courtesy of Melvin Ang.

In addition, outreach programmes will be conducted to raise awareness of these machines amongst residents to improve the rate of paper recycling in PAP managed towns, "when Covid-19 situation allows".

Image courtesy of Melvin Ang.

Image courtesy of Melvin Ang.

Besides encouraging residents to recycle paper, PAP said all of its town councils have pledged to reduce paper usage through reducing printouts within town council offices.

The town councils are also paying their contractors through electronic means to replace physical cheques, whenever possible.

Other initiatives

The launch of paper recycling machines is part of PAP's first phase to each make every PAP-managed town "zero waste, energy efficient, and greener" by 2025, as part of its Action for Green Towns (AGT) initiative.

Each PAP town council now has a Sustainability Committee comprising the residents, respective elected Member of Parliament of each town, and Young PAP activists.

Other efforts to make PAP-managed estates more sustainable include:

  1. Changing all of the lights in common estate areas to energy-saving LED lights which will have smart sensors incorporated progressively to further conserve energy.
  2. Replacing over 3,000 existing estate lifts with more reliable, electricity-saving models once these lifts reach their recommended lifespan by 2025.
  3. Incorporating more greenery in the redesign of public spaces.
  4. Converting excess plant materials like trimmed tree branches and leaves into mulch when possible by 2023. The mulch can be added onto the top soil in the nearby and surrounding greenery of the town.

A pile of mulch near a tree trunk in Hougang. Image by Fiona Tan.

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Top image courtesy of Melvin Ang