Asia – Singapore is playing host to a new joint initiative that will target e-scrap. Involving telecommunications company StarHub, recycler TES-AMM and courier giant DHL, the project will enable consumers to dispose of unwanted laptops, mobile phones and other electronics via 100 bins island-wide by the end of the year.
The three companies have signed a memorandum of understanding to launch the ′Recycling Nation′s Electronic Waste′ (RENEW) programme. An earlier initiative headed by StarHub and TES-AMM saw more than one tonne of e-scrap being collected during the first three months of 2012; the total for this year to date is 5.6 tonnes.
Under the new initiative, StarHub will provide the collection bins and new project partner DHL Express will transport the collected waste to TES-AMM′s recycling plant in Singapore′s Benoi industrial district on a pro-bono basis. Statistics from the National Environment Agency show that Singapore produces an estimated 60 000 tonnes of e-scrap per year – with half from consumers and half from industry.
TES-AMM′s ceo Scott MacMeekin reckons that less than 15% of this material makes it into a responsible recycling stream, and that the RENEW programme ′aims to raise this figure′. StarHub′s ceo Tan Tong Hai says previous initiatives have been welcome but adds: ′For a truly impactful change, a larger bin network is needed.′
Vivian Balakrishnan, Singapore′s minister for the environment and water resources, argues: ′It is crazy to mine gold, silver and precious metals from the earth and then dump them. Urban mining is a business idea whose time may not have come yet, but it will come eventually.′
For more information, visit: www.starhub.com