Singapore’s national electrical and electronic waste (e-waste) management system took effect on July 1, according to an announcement posted by the National Environment Agency (NEA) on June 30. The new system covers common e-waste types including light bulbs, portable batteries, mobile phones, computers, and other digital devices, and encourages recycling by offering free take-back services as well as redeemable vouchers. NEA would provide over 300 e-waste recycling bins across the country, replacing the previous receptacles deployed by local voluntary programs.
The system is part of NEA’s Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) scheme for e-waste, which was launched on June 4. Under the EPR scheme, retailers of consumer electronics are responsible for free replacement services for old products, and those retailers with floor areas of 300 square meters and above must provide an in-store collection point for customers. For non-consumer e-waste, NEA also required producers to take back end-of-life products upon request and at no additional cost of clients. ALBA E-Waste, the NEA-appointed operator of the Producer Responsibility Scheme (RPS), would channel the waste to licensed recyclers. By June 29, the EPR scheme had seen over one ton of e-waste collected at its pilot locations, prompting NEA to adopt the framework at a larger scale.
The e-waste management plan is also integral to Singapore’s Zero Waste Masterplan. Currently, the country generates over 60,000 tons of e-waste annually, but it is only a small portion compared to the total amount of waste generated. Semakau Landfill, the country’s only landfill, receives more than 2,000 tons of wastes and incineration ashes every day and is expected to be full by 2035 based on the current rate. As a result, the Singaporean government set the goal of reducing landfilled waste by 30% by 2030 and continued to explore ways to extend the landfill’s lifespan, including the packaging waste reduction plan implemented last year and the EPR framework this year.