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Insights and Stories

Turning Trash to Treasure: Global Recycling Day and Beyond

March 13, 2024

Global Recycling Day, observed annually on 18 March, serves as a reminder of the critical role recycling plays in protecting the environment. It is a day dedicated to fostering awareness and inspiring action of recycling and how it plays a part in preserving our resources.

By enhancing the circularity of materials, recycling minimises the volume of waste destined for landfills, thereby reducing greenhouse gas emissions and conserving natural resources. While we have observed a notable 25% increase in recyclables collected year-on-year, there is still a lot that can be done on the recycling front.

In addition to being aware of the importance of recycling, knowing the right things to recycle can go a long way for pickers whose jobs are to sort through and sieve out recyclables from the items collected from the blue bins.

Recyclables that are collected from our blue bins are taken to our Materials Recovery Facility (MRF) plant, which will then be sorted.

At SembWaste, we drive initiatives such as the SembEnviro School Recycling League to engage with children and youth, empowering them with the knowledge and tools to champion recycling efforts within the school community. Last year alone, about 300 schools participated, collectively collecting more than 11,000kg of plastics. By expanding our focus to include metals, paper, and e-waste, we aim to further amplify our impact and instill lasting habits of environmental stewardship.

Recycling corners

Creative recycling corners set up by teachers and students for their participation in the SembEnviro School Recycling League

Bringing recycling to the heartlands, SembWaste’s Ezi Recycling app helps residents take the first step in playing their part towards a sustainable future. From doorstep collection to dropping off the recyclables at any of the Ezi Cash-for-Trash stations islandwide, the initiative aims to encourage wider adoption of recycling practices amongst households.

An initiative by SembWaste, Ezi is a mobile app that provides a convenient and simple way to learn, recycle and get rewarded.

Through innovative approaches, SembWaste supports businesses on holistic solutions that address diverse environmental challenges. In collaboration with Singapore Polytechnic, we launched Rebottle, an innovative polyethylene terephthalate (PET) bottle recycling initiative aimed at boosting recycling rates. By aligning our initiatives with the principles of resource efficiency, we not only reduce waste but also foster a culture of sustainability within our communities.

Rebottle machine

The Rebottle machine incorporates Internet of Things (IoT) technology, providing real-time data to ensure timely clearing of the machines.

Effective recycling necessitates a paradigm shift in how businesses approach resource management. For instance, at our Energy-from-Waste plant, we prioritise water conservation by repurposing used water to cool the ash generated from waste incineration. The used water is treated at the plant before being reused. Through this approach, we successfully divert approximately 9,000 cubic meters of wastewater annually for reuse, equivalent to four Olympic-sized swimming pools.

Energy-from-Waste plant

Increasing our capabilities to treat wastewater at our Energy-from-Waste plant has enabled us to recycle used water and reduce clean water usage

By cultivating a culture of responsible consumption and waste management, we not only mitigate our environmental impact but also drive tangible progress towards decarbonisation. Keen to reduce waste and adopt recycling tools for your business? Reach out to our Circularity Consultants via [email protected].