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You can now recycle your electronics at 20 stores with the RENEW program

By Alvin Soon - on 6 Jun 2018, 9:27am

You can now recycle your electronics at 20 stores with the RENEW program

You can now recycle your electronic waste (e-waste) at Best Denki, Courts, Gain City, and Harvey Norman stores. The four retailers have joined DHL, StarHub and TES’ RENEW (REcycling the Nation’s Electronic Waste) e-waste recycling program, and will add RENEW bins in 20 of their retail stores.

Seven Courts stores, five Best Denki, five Gain City, and three Harvey Norman stores are taking part, the RENEW bins will be in stores by the end of the week. StarHub provides the bins for the program, DHL collects and delivers the e-waste to TES’ recycling facility. This adds to the more than 400 RENEW bins found across 422 locations in Singapore. Minister for the Environment and Water Resources, Mr. Masagos Zulkifli, and Senior Minister of State, Dr. Amy Khor, witnessed the signing of the agreement today at StarHub Green.

Electronics can contain harmful materials which need to be disposed of properly. Toxic materials like lead, mercury, and cadmium can leach into the soil, air, and water if discarded haphazardly. It’s a global problem; the Global E-Waste Monitor 2017 reported that 44.7 million metric tonnes of e-waste were generated in 2016. The same report foresees e-waste increasing to 52.2 million metric tonnes by 2021. And it estimates that in 2016, only 20 percent of all e-waste was recycled.

E-waste pollution is real and dangerous. Guiyu, in China, gained the unfortunate reputation of Asia’s largest e-waste dumping ground. A study conducted by the Shantou University Medical College in 2014 found heavy metal contamination in the air and water, which caused children in the area to have high levels of lead in their blood.

It’s important enough that the National Environmental Agency (NEA) has introduced regulatory measures to ensure that e-waste is managed in Singapore. An e-waste management system will be established by 2021. The RENEW program is recognized as an initiative under the NEA’s National Voluntary Partnership for e-waste recycling.

Of course, recycling e-waste is not only about going green, it’s also about good business. A significant amount of raw material can be recovered from e-waste if recycled. The Global E-Waste Monitor 2017 report valued the deposits of gold, silver, copper, platinum, and other materials in e-waste at US$55 billion.

StarHub says that since the RENEW program started in 2012, the amount of e-waste collected has increased. The program has collected more than 249 tonnes of e-waste, with over 92 tonnes collected in 2017. This is up from the two tonnes collected in the first year of the program.

Using the RENEW bins, you can recycle non-bulky e-waste products like mobile phones, cables, models, laptops, DVD players, and lithium-ion batteries. But if you have an Apple device and want to do the green thing, you might be better served trading it back to Apple. If the device doesn’t have trade-in value, Apple says it can be recycled for free.

Besides the RENEW e-waste recycling program, StarHub also has another green initiative. The company has partnered with Sunseap to offer solar power to residents on Singapore’s Open Electricity Market.

Find out more about the RENEW e-waste recycling program at StarHub.