Nation's Electronic Waste)sh
Nation's Electronic Waste)
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 Rapid changes in technology, shorter life-cycles before a product is obsolete, changes in media (tapes, software, MP3) and falling prices have resulted in a fast-growing surplus of electronic waste around the globe. Yet there are very few avenues for individual consumers to recycle their e-waste.
That is why in 2012, as an info-communications services provider retailing electronic products, as well as being firmly committed to environmental sustainability, StarHub initiated a massive consumer-oriented environmental programme, to provide consumers with avenues to responsibly dispose of their e-waste. We partnered with home-grown e-waste recycler TES-AMM to launch the StarHub E-Waste Recycling Programme on 31 March 2012, Earth Hour.
The five bins, located at our Customer Service Centres and one other location in town, collected over one tonne of e-waste within five months. This programme won the WWF Earth Hour Award for "Biggest Step Beyond The Hour" in 2012.
Buoyed by the success and with the aim of making e-waste more convenient by providing more locations of recycling, StarHub increased the number of e-waste recycling bin sites in August 2012 to include condominiums and schools around Singapore, a Community Club and even the Environment Building. By August 2014, there were 30 bin locations island-wide, but more could be done.
DHL, StarHub and TES-AMM all believe in being environmentally responsible corporate citizens. In line with the Singaporean Government’s People-Public-Private approach to tackling environmental issues, the three organisations decided to join forces, with the support of the Ministry of Environment and Water Resources and National Environment Agency, to provide even more opportunities for the public to recycle their e-waste.
On 16 September 2014, an MOU was signed between DHL, StarHub and TES-AMM to expand the programme as RENEW, short for REcycling Nation’s Electronic Waste. The MOU signing was witnessed by Dr Vivian Balakrishnan, Minister for the Environment and Water Resources, at The Environment Building.
StarHub sources for locations interested in having a RENEW bin, and engages a supplier to produce and provide bins to these locations. DHL manages the logistics of collecting and delivering the e-waste from all the bins to TES-AMM’s e-waste recycling facility. TES-AMM then recycles the e-waste. To date, 109 tonnes of electronic waste have been collected for recycling since 2012. RENEW has also won The Green Award at the Asia Communication Awards for two years running, in 2014 and 2015.
You can recycle almost any electronic product in the RENEW bins. You do not have to be a DHL, StarHub or TES-AMM customer or even have purchased the product from StarHub. However, all recycled items must be able to fit through the bin's 470mm x 120mm slot.
Here are some items you can recycle in the RENEW bins: answering machines, cables, car stereos, computer mice, CDs/ DVDs, docking stations, CD/ DVD/ VCD players, electronic toys, hard drives, keyboards, laptops, lithium-ion (Li-ion) batteries, mobile phones, modems, MP3 players, printed circuit boards, printers, remote controls, routers, set-top boxes, telephones, VCRs and wires.
RENEW bins come with hinged latches for locking by site owners and should only be unlocked for collection by DHL. RENEW bins are also designed to prevent theft of items through the slot.
After DHL delivers the e-waste to TES-AMM, the items are manually dismantled into smaller components which are then fed into a shredder to be broken down into increasingly smaller pieces. By this point, no data is recoverable. Through a chemical process, metals are extracted and separated from the plastics and these are all melted down into bars or pellets for other uses.
StarHub, DHL and TES-AMM comply with all relevant laws applicable to the RENEW programme, including but not limited to the Personal Data Protection Act (Act 26 of 2012 of Singapore) for any collection, use and/or disclosure of personal data.