Wednesday, 23 May 2012

What a waste?

Now that we've moved into our home for the next two years, I am happy to report that it has recycling facilities. We can recycle paper, glass, plastic and cans. But what happens to the rest of the rubbish?

Recycling bins in my condo - shared by everyone
According to, 1,330 kg of tonnes were generated by each person last year. 59% of this was recycled, 38% incinerated and 3% went to landfill. How does that compare to the UK? (The latest figures I could find were for 2008.) There, 4,670 kg of waste are generated per person. Yay, Singapore! Even more yay to Singapore, as only 45% of waste is recycled in the UK. These are figures for the total waste generated and so include waste generated by the construction industry - which is a large percentage.

Looking at my own waste, I'm not recycling as much as I did in the UK. There, the local authority collected paper, glass, cans (as here), cardboard, food waste, clothes, shoes, batteries and garden waste. Metals, plastics, wood and rubble could be taken to a local waste site for recycling. Just before we left, they'd also started collecting plastics from homes and tetra-paks. The downside to all this convenient home recycling was that we had to find space for a black box, a blue box, a small brown bin and a black bin. You could also buy a green bin for your garden waste.

All the recycling and waste containers we had in the UK - per house!
Zero Waste Singapore is full of useful information on reducing, reusing and recycling your waste. I'll be using it to find out what to do about all the things we brought across with us, but don't actually use anymore. Keep your eyes out for updates.

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