There are two main types of recycling streams in Singapore.

Single Stream / Co-mingled Recycling

In single stream recycling, recyclables are not required to be sorted or segregated during collection. Recyclables are usually sorted at a material recovery facility (MRF), where items will be conveyed via a conveyor belt to the picking stations, to be further sorted into various categories.
In single stream recycling, recyclables are not required to be sorted or segregated.

Quality of recyclables
High contamination rates

For recyclers
Convenient – no sorting is required

For Collectors
Cost savings during the collection process, as everything can be collected at once

Material Recovery Facility
High costs in maintaining technology and facility

Multi Stream / Sorted Recycling

In multi stream recycling, recyclables are sorted and collected separately.
In multi stream recycling, recyclables need to be sorted.
Quality of recyclables
Low contamination rates

For recyclers
More effort required to sort recyclables

For Collectors
Multiple trips required during the collection process as items cannot be mixed

Labour intensive

Although there are different recycling streams, the method of recycling should always be the same. The item recycled should not be anything other than that specific material recycled.

Recycling magazines in that comes in white envelopes
The right way of recycling would be to remove the magazine from the envelope, so magazines can be recycled as magazines (MA), and the white envelopes as black and white paper (BW).

In the single stream recycling, these items (MA & BW) can be co-mingled and put into the recycling bin. However, it does not mean that the magazine does not need to be removed from the envelope. The effectiveness of single stream recycling is often dependent on the separation ability of the technology used. When not removed, this becomes a form of recycling contamination.

In the multi stream recycling, these items (MA & BW) has to be separated and cannot be put together.

Start recycling right today