Your Handy Guide On What You Can And Cannot Recycle

You’ve probably seen those big blue recycling bins around your estate, but how often do you use them? They’re part of our National Recycling Programme and provided by NEA-licensed public waste collectors at all HDB estates and landed properties in Singapore. 

(Photo: Ng Sor Luan)

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How It Works

The collection system is a commingled one where all four types of recyclables (that is, glass, metal, paper, plastic) go into one blue recycling bin.

Each bin has information on what can and cannot be recycled. For instance, food and liquid waste should not be thrown inside as they can contaminate the recyclables and make them unsuitable for recycling, not to mention draw pests. 

Containers with liquids other than plain water should be emptied, rinsed and washed, while boxes should be flattened where possible to save space in the bin.

Recycling trucks collect from the bins daily or thrice a week, depending on the sector. The recyclables are taken to material recovery facilities where they are sorted by a semi- automated process into paper, plastics, metal and glass. Each sorted group is sent to a local or overseas recycling plant and made into new products.

Here are examples of what can and cannot be recycled: