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  Straits Times Forum 1 Aug 06
Recyclable items collected by SembWaste are sent for recycling
Reply from SembCorp

Straits Times Forum 25 Jul 06
Are items put aside for recycling actually recycled?
Letter from Nelly Yanty (Madam)

I HAVE been recycling faithfully since SembCorp started its fortnightly waste collection programme. Recently, theft of the waste collection has been highlighted.

I had an encounter whereby I had to shout at the 'thieves' who were driving away with the collection along with my son's unlocked bicycle. They apologised and returned the bicycle to me. I saw many more bicycles on their truck, but I did not take down their vehicle number as I had initially thought that they were the official collectors who had mistaken my unlocked bicycle as part of the junk to be collected.

It was upon checking later I realised that official collectors do come in proper SembCorp vehicles.

Lately, I have also noticed that my bags have been taken away by the void-deck cleaners instead. My first thought was that they probably had mistaken the bags for rubbish. But I later discovered that the cleaners would hand them over to the rag and bone man. I understand that these cleaners are just trying to make some extra money.

Also, while I do make an effort at destroying my personal particulars, it will not be unusual for me to throw a used envelop with my address and name on it into the recycling bin. I certainly would not want some of these information to fall into the wrong hands.

Apart from this uncertainty and having to put up with the pile of junk for two weeks, I am now not even sure if all the collected items will be recycled or it will simply be thrown away by the rag and bone man.

So I am now starting to doubt about the whole idea of supporting the recycling industry.

I did try to call the SembCorp collection hotline, but they told me to inform the Housing Board. Upon informing the HDB, the officer told me to tell the cleaner directly. As a resident of the block, I do not think it is wise to have a direct confrontation with the cleaner.

This situation has made recycling more and more undesirable. I I hope that the organisation involved will do something about it.

Straits Times Forum 1 Aug 06
Recyclable items collected by SembWaste are sent for recycling
Reply from SembCorp

I refer to the letter "Are items put aside for recycling actually recycled?" (ST Online Forum, July 25) by Madam Nelly Yanty. Mdm Yanty was commenting on our waste recycling programme for residents.

Under the National Recycling Programme launched by the National Environment Agency in 2001, public waste collectors like our company, SembWaste Pte Ltd, are required to provide waste recycling service on a fortnightly basis.

To facilitate the collection of recyclable items, we provide green-coloured recycling bags for HDB flats and blue-lidded recycling bins for landed premises. For landed premises, the collection service is carried out by SembWaste's own crew using our company vehicles. For HDB flats, we have engaged sub-contractors to collect the recyclable items on our behalf.

Although these sub-contractors are allowed to use their own vehicles, they are required to wear SembWaste's company uniform for identification purposes. All SembWaste's sub-contractors and workers adhere to strict instructions to only collect recyclable items which are placed in our recycling bins or recycling bags, or in other plastic bags which are marked for recycling.

We would like to assure residents that recyclable items collected by SembWaste and our sub-contractors are sent to our material recovery facility for recycling.

Residents encountering instances of recyclable items in SembWaste's recycling bags or bins being collected by unauthorised collectors can either refer such cases to the relevant authorities or call our customer service hotline at 1800-278 6135 to alert us.

We thank Mdm Yanty for her feedback and would be happy to speak with her to clarify any other concerns she may have. Mdm Yanty may contact my colleague, Ms Winnie Heng, at 1800-278 6135.

Letchimi Palanisamy (Ms)
Assistant Manager, Corporate Relations
SembCorp Environmental Management

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