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New condo developments to have recycling chutes

SINGAPORE — Amid calls by Members of Parliament to give recycling a badly needed boost, Senior Minister of State for the Environment and Water Resources Amy Khor said the Government will mandate the provision of recycling chutes at some private residential developments.

File photo of cardboard and aluminium cans seen side by side. Photo: AFP

File photo of cardboard and aluminium cans seen side by side. Photo: AFP

SINGAPORE — Amid calls by Members of Parliament to give recycling a badly needed boost, Senior Minister of State for the Environment and Water Resources Amy Khor said the Government will mandate the provision of recycling chutes at some private residential developments.

Future condominium buildings taller than four storeys will be required to install dual chutes for refuse and recyclables. This will apply to all new non-landed residential development applications submitted from April next year, she said during the debate over the ministry’s budget on Wednesday (March 8).

Households in apartments with dual chute systems recycle up to three times more than those without such facilities, said Dr Khor. Since 2014, all new Build-To-Order flats have had recycling chutes adjacent to centralised refuse chutes at every level. The Government is ready to increase adoption of the system, as part of efforts to meet the domestic recycling target of 30 per cent by 2030. The rate has stagnated at 20 per cent in recent years.

The three waste streams of greatest concern are electronic waste, packaging waste and food waste, said Dr Khor. The Government is consulting industry stakeholders on an enhanced national e-waste management system, which should cover both collection and disposal of e-waste, she said.

It is exploring regulations for businesses on packaging waste, such as the submission of reduction plans, over the next two to four years.

As for food waste, source-segregated waste from nine sites including schools and army camps have been trucked to a demonstration facility at Ulu Pandan Water Reclamation Plant since the end of last year. About three tonnes are collected daily and the aim is to increase it to 15 tonnes a day, to recover energy from food waste more efficiently.

MPs Louis Ng (Nee Soon) and Cheng Li Hui (Tampines) called for better waste collection in housing estates. Dr Khor said future condominium developments with at least 500 dwelling units will use a pneumatic waste conveyance system – an automated system that transports waste by air suction through a network of pipes to a centralised collection station. This will also apply to all new non-landed residential development applications submitted from April next year.

The pneumatic waste conveyance system was piloted at Yuhua estate and will be installed in new HDB areas such as Tampines North and Bidadari. It is also in place at over 100 condominium developments such as Sky Habitat in Bishan.

On public cleanliness, Dr Khor said the National Environment Agency issued more than 31,000 tickets to litterbugs last year, nearly 18 per cent more than 2015. Over the past five years, less than 6 per cent of litterbugs who have undergone Corrective Work Orders have been caught littering again.

And since the adoption of surveillance cameras for high-rise littering in August 2012, the NEA has taken more than 3,300 enforcement actions against culprits. “These cameras create an effective deterrent effect, as only 1 per cent of high-rise litterbugs care caught offending again,” said Dr Khor.

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