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18 Best Ways/Ideas To Recycle Used Materials In Singapore

Updated: Jul 7, 2023

How To Recycle In Singapore: 9 Fast Facts For Eco-Warriors

Singaporeans take our green initiatives seriously in the Lion City, where the urban jungle meets the tropical rainforest. After all, "clean and green" isn't just a motto but a way of life!

With recycling being more critical than ever, let's explore the best ways to recycle and the best recycling ideas for a more sustainable Singapore.

1. Start By Separating Your Waste

Start By Separating Your Waste

As the saying goes, "A stitch in time saves nine". Segregating your waste into typical recyclables like plastics, paper, glass, and metal at home makes it easier to recycle correctly later on.

By doing so, you're reducing the chances of contaminating recycling bins with general waste and increasing the recycling rates in our little red dot.

2. Use Recycling Bins

The National Environment Agency (NEA) has made recycling accessible to all Singaporeans with its iconic blue recycling bins. You can find these bins in HDB estates, condominiums, and landed properties. Familiarise yourself with your nearest recycling bin location and make it a habit to deposit recyclable materials regularly.

3. Recycle Plastic Bags

Plastic bags are versatile creatures; they can carry your groceries and serve as makeshift raincoats. While you may reuse them as bin liners or return to plastic bag collection points, plastic bags can be brought to Semula’s upcycling plastic tote bag workshops. This way, you're not only helping reduce plastic waste in our environment, but giving them a new and practical lease on life.

4. Flatten Cardboard Boxes

Before tossing cardboard boxes into the recycling bin, give them a good flattening to save space for other recyclable materials. Remove any non-recyclable elements, such as plastic wrapping or packing peanuts. This goes a long way in making the recycling process more efficient.

5. Rinse Out Containers

Recyclable containers, such as plastic bottles and food containers, should be given a quick rinse to remove any residue. Doing these ensure they're clean and ready for the recycling process, which helps to prevent contamination and ensure the highest quality recycled products.

6. Remove Metal Bottle Caps

Twist off metal caps from glass bottles and place them separately in the recycling bin. These little fellas are often made of different materials than the bottles, so keeping them separate helps recycling facilities process them more efficiently.

7. Don't Recycle Pizza Boxes

Greasy pizza boxes and recycling don't mix but don't fret. You can still recycle the non-greasy parts by tearing them off and placing them in the recycling bin.

8. Bring E-Waste To Designated Recycling Points

Consumer electronics like smartphones and laptops have a shelf life too. Dispose of them responsibly by visiting a local recycling location for e-waste, such as the e-waste recycling bins managed by NEA or participating retailers. In doing so, you're helping prevent hazardous materials from ending up in landfills.

9. Dispose Of Batteries Correctly

Batteries pack a punch but can also wreak havoc on the environment if not handled with care. Look for specific battery recycling bins in your area to ensure they're processed correctly, keeping harmful chemicals out of our ecosystems.

10. Turn Food Waste Into Compost

Instead of chucking food scraps into the general waste bin, consider composting them to create nutrient-rich fertiliser for your plants. This way, you're reducing food waste and giving back to Mother Earth.

11. Donate Old Clothes

Give your old clothes another chance by donating them to charities or second-hand shops. This ensures you play your part in keeping textiles out of landfills and providing access to affordable clothing for those in need. Plus, you'll make space in your wardrobe for new, stylish additions.

12. Keep Shredded Paper Separate

Shredded paper might seem innocent, but it can cause a ruckus in the recycling process. Keep it out of your paper recycling bin, and instead, look for specific collection points for shredded paper or repurpose it as packing material or pet bedding.

13. Recycle Aluminium Cans And Foil

Aluminium cans and foil are superheroes in the recycling world, as they can be recycled infinitely without losing their quality. So, make sure to include them in your recycling efforts. Just rinse and crush them to save space in the recycling bin.

14. Know What Cannot Be Recycled

While recycling facilities and accepted materials can vary globally, plastic straws, cling film, and disposable cutlery generally fall under single-use plastics, which are difficult to recycle. In Singapore, the National Environment Agency (NEA) encourages the reduction of single-use plastics and advocates for reusable alternatives.

15. Support Recycled Products

One of the best ways to promote recycling is to vote with your wallet. Purchase products made from recycled materials, as much as possible, and support businesses that are championing sustainability.

16. Participate In Recycling Projects

Join local recycling projects and events to learn more about recycling and contribute to the community's efforts. This also sharpens your recycling know-how and helps make Singapore a more eco-friendly environment.

17. Find Out About Local Recycling Initiatives

Stay informed about local recycling initiatives, such as the NEA's programmes and guidelines, to ensure you're always up-to-date on the best recycling methods in Singapore.

18. Educate Yourself And Others

Knowledge is power, and sharing the best ways to recycle and recycling ideas with friends and family can help make Singapore an even greener city. Don't be shy about spreading the word!

What Are Considered Recyclable Materials?

Understanding what can and can't be recycled is crucial for effective recycling. To help you determine which materials are recyclable, familiarise yourself with the following categories:

  • Plastics: Bottles, containers, and bags (excluding cling film and plastic cutlery)

  • Paper: Newspapers, magazines, cardboard, and office paper (excluding greasy pizza boxes and shredded paper)

  • Glass: Bottles and jars (excluding window glass and light bulbs)

  • Metal: Aluminium cans, foil, and metal bottle caps

Best Ideas For Recycled Materials

Reusable Tote Bag

Transform old T-shirts or fabric scraps into a stylish and reusable tote bag, perfect for grocery shopping or a day out in Singapore.

Eco-Friendly Jewellery

Use discarded materials, such as plastic bottles or aluminium can tabs, to make unique and sustainable fashion accessories like earrings, necklaces, or bracelets.

Pencil Holder

Repurpose tin cans or glass jars as chic pencil holders to organise stationery and tidy your workspace.

DIY Worm Bin

Convert a plastic storage container into a worm bin to recycle kitchen scraps into nutrient-rich compost for your plants, suitable for HDB flats and landed properties.

Rainwater Harvesting System

Utilise old buckets or large containers to collect rainwater for watering your plants, saving water and money. But make sure to be careful when harvesting rainwater to avoid breeding dengue mosquitoes.

Tyre Planter

Transform discarded tyres into colourful planters for your garden or balcony. Paint them in vibrant colours and stack them in creative arrangements to showcase your plants.

Pallet Garden

Repurpose wooden pallets into a vertical garden by attaching planter boxes or fabric pockets. This space-saving solution is perfect for growing herbs or small plants in compact living spaces.


Recycling is an essential practice for maintaining a clean and green Singapore. Adopting these techniques in recycling and implementing creative recycling ideas is an excellent way of reducing our waste and protecting the environment.

If you're eager to learn more about how you can contribute to a zero-waste Singapore, look no further! Semula Asia is at the forefront of green initiatives, and we invite you to join us in our mission to build a cleaner, greener Lion City.

Don't hesitate to contact us for more information on our innovative projects and how you can get involved. Let's work hand-in-hand to make Singapore an even more eco-friendly place to call home.

Frequently Asked Questions About Ways To Recycle

How Can I Find Recycling Bins Near Me?

Look for blue recycling bins in public areas or near HDB blocks in Singapore, or use apps like "myENV" to locate the nearest recycling bins in your vicinity.

Can I Recycle Used Furniture In Singapore?

Yes, you can recycle used furniture in Singapore through organisations like Pass-It-On, which accepts donations of used, but good-quality furniture, or via second-hand shops and furniture recycling initiatives.

How Can I Support Businesses That Use Recycled Materials?

Support businesses that use recycled materials by purchasing their products, spreading the word about their eco-friendly practices, and choosing services that prioritise sustainability.

What Are The Environmental Benefits Of Recycling?

Recycling helps reduce waste in landfills, saves energy and resources, lowers pollution, and contributes to a cleaner environment.

How Can I Recycle Plastic Bottles Creatively?

Plastic bottles, rather than being discarded, can be creatively repurposed into a variety of useful items. They can be cut and decorated to serve as planters, creating a mini-garden with an eco-friendly twist. Alternatively, these bottles can be turned into hanging bird feeders, providing a charming addition to your garden while supporting local wildlife.

The versatility of plastic bottles allows them to be transformed into practical storage organisers for small items, helping to declutter your space. Beyond their functional uses, plastic bottles can also be used in artistic ways, such as creating sculptures or decorative items that add a unique touch to your home or garden.

What Are The Benefits Of Using Recycled Products?

Using recycled products conserves natural resources, reduces waste in landfills, saves energy, lowers greenhouse gas emissions, and supports eco-friendly businesses.

What Are Some Common Mistakes When Recycling?

Common recycling mistakes include not cleaning containers, mixing non-recyclable items with recyclables, and not separating materials correctly, leading to contamination and inefficiencies in the recycling process.

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