Singapore Environment CouncilCity Developments Limited

Green Transport

Singapore generates over 2.6 million tons of waste every year, about 90% of the waste is incinerated and the remaining non-flammable waste and incineration ash is disposed of at our one and only landfill. Singapore faces several problems with waste which include the growing amounts of waste generated; land scarcity for landfill sites; and high costs involved in building waste disposal facilities such as incineration plants and landfills.

In addition, wasteful consumption patterns also exploit and diminish natural resources, and waste itself contributes to air, water and land pollution. Offices need to do their part in minimizing waste output and recycle as much waste as possible.

TIPS

  • Avoid packaging, buy in bulk. Choose products with minimal packaging, including for example, bulk coffee, cream and sugar rather than individually portioned packages.
  • Select items that come packaged in recycled or recyclable packaging or containers.
  • Avoid disposable cups and containers when buying drinks or in the office, bring your own.
  • Use reusable shopping bags, like those made of canvas, when buying office supplies.
  • When buying back lunch, try not to ask for a plastic bag.
  • Avoid using disposable utensils.
  • Use reusable containers when buying back meals - bring your own containers or your office may provide these containers. Additionally, if you have someone that washes the cups in the office, pay her a bit more to wash these containers used during lunch so that staff can reuse them the next day.
  • Use less disposable items, e.g. Styrofoam and paper cups and plates and chopsticks - keep durable cutlery, glass and crockery in the office instead.
  • Reformat or delete old files from diskettes so that they can be used to store new documents.
  • Place recycle bins for what your office can recycle in areas where they are normally used and thrown away.
  • Recycle aluminium cans - 20 cans can be recycled into new cans using the same amount of energy required to produce just 1 can from raw material; and aluminium cans are much lighter than glass, which makes them easier to handle, saving energy and reducing pollution during transport.
  • Recycle glass - every bottle that is recycled saves enough energy to run a 100w light bulb for 4 hrs.
  • Recycle plastic - plastic bags are made from non-renewable fossil fuels, they are non-biodegradable, and posses a danger to nature; and over 40 billion plastic bags are thrown away each year in Singapore.
  • Recycle electronic equipment - all electronic components contain hazardous or toxic materials, especially lead and mercury, the products are safe to use but pollute air, water and land during disposal.
  • Recycle batteries.
  • Use rechargeable batteries.
  • Keep cloth towels next to the sink instead of paper towels.
  • Before deciding whether you need to purchase new office furniture, see if your existing office furniture can be refurbished. It's less expensive than buying new and better for the environment.
  • Donate equipment or furniture that your office no longer needs to staff, charity or second-hand buyers.

LUNCHING IN

  • Bring your own container. If you have someone who helps with washing cups in the office, pay a bit more to have the containers washed after lunch - to be ready for the next day's lunch.
  • Bring your own cutlery. Avoid disposable cutlery.
  • Bring your own bag to carry the food. Plastic bags are given out to be used for only 5 minutes. If you have to take a plastic bag, reuse it.

SHOPPING FOR SUPPLIES

  • Buy in bulk. There will be less packaging to deal with. Also, avoid products with unnecessary packaging.
  • Bring your own shopping bag.
  • Buy rechargeable batteries. Alkaline batteries provide only one-time use and are not easily recycled.
  • Select items that come packaged in recycled or recyclable packaging or containers.

MOVING OUT

  • Before deciding whether you need to purchase new office furniture, see if your existing office furniture can be refurbished. It's also less expensive than buying new.
  • Donate equipment or furniture that your office no longer needs to staff, charity or second-hand dealers.

RECYCLING

  • Place recycle bins for what your office can recycle in areas where they are normally used and thrown away.
  • Plastic recycling - many different polymers exist and only well-labelled plastic containers can be recycled. Be sure to check with your recycling contractor which kinds of plastic are accepted.
  • Recycle electronic equipment - all electronic components contain hazardous or toxic materials, especially lead and mercury, the products are safe to use but pollute air, water and land during disposal.