Most Singaporeans do not think twice about upgrading their mobile devices and computers regularly. With all that upgrading comes the attendant headache of disposing of old devices. Singapore generates some 60,000 tonnes of electronic waste annually, equivalent to each person throwing away 70 mobile phones each year. More than 300 collection bins have been installed at various convenient locations around the island in an attempt to address the issue of e-waste. This is part of the Government’s e-waste management system and can take in items ranging from light bulbs to refrigerators. This national drive to recycle is to be encouraged if Singapore is to meet its goal of reducing one-third of the waste sent to the Semakau landfill by 2030.
Recycling, however, is only one way to reduce wastage. Another way is to learn to repair household items instead of throwing them away once something breaks down. Repair Kopitiam is one grassroots community helping to change the throwaway culture.