Recycling contamination in Singapore

Recycling Contamination of Paper and Plastic, as they are not sorted properly.

What is Recycling Contamination?

Recycling contamination happens when recycling is done incorrectly. Eg: Recycling carton boxes with plastic (LDPE). Anything other than that specific material collected is a contaminant.

Even though both items are recyclable, the right way of recycling would be to seperate the carton boxes from the plastic (LDPE). If not separated, it would be considered as a recycling contamination.

Recycling when done incorrectly, might cause it that batch of recyclables to be rejected and incinerated, instead of it being recycled.

Does recycling contamination matter in Singapore? Yes.

Contamination makes recycling difficult and impossible to handle
If the percentage of contaminants in a load of recyclables becomes too large, the items might be incinerationed instead.

Contamination causes unsafe and unhygienic work environments for those sorting your items
Recycling workers can be exposed to hazardous waste, bacteria and diseases, and other physically damaging items.
Example: Chemical wastes, toxic wastes, and medical wastes that are not properly disposed of.

Contamination causes a monetary devaluation in recyclables
Paper, plastic, and metal have recycling values. If a contaminant is present, the quality of the recyclable is reduced, leading to less market value. With less market value, the incentive to recycle decreases, leading to lower recycling rates, and more wastes being incinerated.

Reducing recycling contamination would greatly help increase the rate of recycling. The next time you recycle, remember to prevent contaminantion, every little bit counts!

Start recycling right today