Four major electronics retailers – Best Denki, COURTS, Gain City and Harvey Norman have joined DHL, StarHub and TES’ RENEW programme to further encourage electrical and electronic waste (e-waste) recycling in Singapore. Under the collaboration agreement, the four retailers will place the RENEW bins in 20 of their retail stores, further enhancing the outreach of the RENEW programme. These include seven COURTS stores, five Best Denki and Gain City stores each and three Harvey Norman stores.
The signing of the agreement was witnessed by Minister for the Environment and Water Resources, Mr Masagos Zulkifli, and Senior Minister of State, Dr Amy Khor at StarHub Green this afternoon. This collaboration between the RENEW partners and the four major electronics retailers is timely, given the growing amount of e-waste being generated in Singapore and the implementation of the national e-waste management system by 2021.
The aim of expanding the RENEW programme to include the four major electronics retailers is to provide consumers with greater recycling convenience and encourage them to responsibly dispose of their unwanted electronic devices and information and communications technology (ICT) equipment. Such equipment can contain potentially harmful substances and needs to be treated properly, as well as valuable materials that can be extracted and recycled. Under the programme, StarHub provides the bins, while DHL collects and delivers the e-waste to TES’ e-waste recycling facility.
The network of 468 RENEW bins can be found across 422 locations island-wide, including educational institutions, major malls, government offices, office buildings, community clubs and now in these major electronics retail stores. Since the launch of the StarHub RENEW programme in 2012, the amount of e-waste collected has increased exponentially. The programme has cumulatively collected more than 249 tonnes of e-waste since 2012, with over 92 tonnes collected in just 2017, up from the two tonnes collected in 2012.
The expansion of the RENEW programme to include the four retailers is supported by the National Environment Agency’s (NEA) National Voluntary Partnership for E-waste Recycling. The RENEW programme, as one of the initiatives under the Voluntary Partnership, supports the building of the national e-waste management system.
Ms Jeannie Ong, StarHub’s Chief Strategic Partnership Officer said, “As an info-communications company, we are keenly aware of the importance of proper e-waste disposal which is why we started this e-waste recycling programme over six years ago. Today, the rate which e-waste is generated has gathered pace as Singapore progresses towards its Smart Nation vision. This should concern all of us as the environment belongs to the community. Having the retailers join the programme would mean greater convenience and accessibility for members of the public in Singapore to safely dispose of their unwanted electronic devices and equipment. To effectively tackle environmental issues, we believe that it is important to involve the private and public sectors as well as the civil society to do their part. Hence, together with the support of NEA and our partners, we can heighten efforts to preserve our environment. We need to take action and start recycling our e-waste.”
“As DHL works towards our 2050 Zero Emission goal, we want to encourage more of our partners, customers and employees to join us on this journey. E-waste growth will only continue to accelerate with the pace of digital transformation. So we should be growing the awareness of proper e-waste disposal at an even faster rate. With these retailers – COURTS, Gain City, Harvey Norman and Best Denki – lending their support to the cause, we have a good chance of winning this sustainability race against e-waste,” said Mr Julian Neo, Head of Commercial, DHL Express Singapore.
TES COO, Mr Gary Steele remarked, “TES is proud to continue to be a part of this important initiative. It is a great model that demonstrates over time how diverse stakeholders working in unison can make a meaningful difference to environmental outcomes.”
NEA CEO, Mr Ronnie Tay, said, “The support of individuals, communities and the private sector is crucial in building a robust recycling culture in Singapore. I am heartened by DHL, StarHub and TES’ leadership, in the creation on Singapore’s largest voluntary e-waste collection and recycling programme, and commend Best Denki, COURTS, Gain City and Harvey Norman for joining this effort to encourage e-waste recycling. I encourage members of the public to make use of these bins, and more businesses to take action in tackling climate change and working towards our vision of a circular economy for Singapore.”
RENEW is a voluntary community initiative by DHL, StarHub and TES. Non-bulky e-waste items such as mobile phones, cables, modems, laptops, remote controls, keyboards, mice, DVD players, MP3 players and lithium-ion batteries from individuals can be deposited into the RENEW bins. All members of the public are encouraged to recycle their electronic waste through these bins. For more details, please visit www.starhub.com/renew.