– Programme pioneered by StarHub and TES-AMM to expand to over 100 electronic waste (e-waste) bin locations across Singapore by end-2014 –
– DHL Express to provide all logistical support for Singapore’s most extensive and inclusive public e-waste recycling programme –
– Programme renamed as REcycling Nation’s Electronic Waste (RENEW) –
Singapore, 16 September 2014 – DHL Express, the world’s leading cross-border express services provider, StarHub, Singapore’s infocommunications provider, and TES-AMM, a home-grown electronic waste recycler, have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to expand Singapore’s first e-waste recycling programme.
The MOU signing was witnessed by Dr Vivian Balakrishnan, Minister for the Environment and Water Resources, at The Environment Building this morning. The three partners hope to have e-waste bins at over 100 locations by the end of 2014 giving members of the public in Singapore many opportunities to safely dispose of unwanted electronic devices and equipment for free—knowing that the waste will be harvested for precious and re-usable raw materials.
StarHub first launched the StarHub E-Waste Recycling Programme during Earth Hour 2012 with e-waste recycling provider TES-AMM, a leading global electronics consultant and waste recycler. The programme, which now has bins in 30 locations island-wide, collected nearly 2,700kg in its first year1. An expansion in August 2012, including a bin at The Environment Building, saw e-waste collections rise to over 6,500kg in 2013. As of today, the amount of e-waste collected for 2014 stands at over 5,600kg.
The programme is a purely voluntary community initiative by StarHub and TES-AMM, with StarHub providing the bins and TES-AMM providing the recycling services.
The pro-bono logistics services provided by DHL will be a key driver in enhancing efficiencies for the expanded electronic waste management programme, which is now rebranded as REcycling Nation’s Electronic Waste (RENEW).
According to the National Environment Agency (NEA), Singapore produces about 60,000 tonnes of electronic waste every year; about half from households and half from industrial sources.
E-waste contains toxic substances and its improper disposal can lead to serious pollution and health problems. Rapid changes in technology, shorter life-cycles before a product is obsolete, changes in media (tapes, software, MP3) and falling prices have resulted in a fast-growing surplus of electronic waste around the globe. Devices such as mobile phones are dismantled by hand and split into four key recycling components—plastic housing and keypads; printed circuit boards; batteries; and ferrous metals—and are an extremely labour-intensive process. TES-AMM has developed safe and effective recycling procedures for main electronic goods from mobile phones to laptops with the maximum extraction of re-usable materials and the environmentally safe disposal of what remains.
“StarHub believes in being environmentally responsible and sustainable,” said Tan Tong Hai, Chief Executive Officer, StarHub. “In early 2012, we realised that while it was very easy to recycle paper, metal, plastic and even glass in Singapore, there were very few avenues for individual consumers to recycle their e-waste. The awareness of StarHub’s E-Waste Recycling Programme has been growing but for a truly impactful change, a larger bin network is needed. With support from DHL and a vastly expanded RENEW programme, we will be able to take e-waste recycling in Singapore to greater heights.
Calling on all members of the public to make use of the RENEW bins, Mr Tan added: “We all have a part to play in preserving our environment. As they say: we did not inherit the earth from our forefathers; we are preserving it for our children.”
Herbert Vongpusanachai, Senior Vice President & Managing Director, DHL Express Singapore, said: “An estimated 20 to 50 million tonnes of e-waste is produced globally each year, yet only about 12.5% are recycled2. Logistics is a key driver of enhancing efficiency of waste management and we are excited to partner StarHub and TES-AMM in this programme and share our expertise. Sustainability is a key pillar of DHL’s long-term business vision. Having a logistics partner such as DHL to collect the e-waste means the programme can support more bins across the island and make e-waste recycling an even more accessible option for all Singaporeans.”
The programme’s ultimate aim is to have an e-waste recycling bin at educational institutions, major malls, major government offices, major office buildings and Community Clubs. The plan is to roll out hundreds of bins over two to three years, with constant monitoring of public response and adoption.
Scott Mac Meekin, Chief Operating Officer, TES-AMM, said: “With e-waste being the largest contributor, as well as among the fastest-growing toxic waste streams, it is a critical responsibility for all of us to ensure that our unwanted electronic devices are disposed of responsibly. The StarHub, DHL and TES-AMM collaboration makes disposal convenient and simple for everyone while providing us with the peace of mind that the most advanced and efficient methods have been applied to extract every bit of reusable material first and then to neutralize the toxicity of the remaining material. All of us at TES-AMM are very proud to be part of this win-win collaboration which is another in a string of excellent examples demonstrating how Singapore is setting world-class standards in environmental policy and practice.”
The RENEW programme accepts e-waste from individuals—not bulk e-waste from companies—deposited at designated e-bins. Acceptable items include mobile phones, cable modems, laptops, DVD, VCR and VCD players, remote controls, keyboards, hard disk drives, modems, mice, wires, set-top boxes, docking stations, MP3 players, telephones, and lithium-ion batteries. All members of the public are encouraged to recycle their electronic waste at these bins. For more details, please visit www.starhub.com/renew
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1April to December 2012