Recycling in Singapore.

Where to Recycle in Singapore?

There are more than 8000 recycling bins in residential estates all over Singapore[1].

Below are the various types of Recycling Bins that you may see:

Figure 1 Recycling Bins for landed houses & HDB estates
 Figure 1 Recycling Bins for landed houses & HDB estates
Figure 2 Recycling Bins at Singapore Changi Airport
 Figure 2 Recycling Bins at Singapore Changi Airport
Figure 3 Recycling Bins at Shopping Malls
 Figure 3 Recycling Bins at Shopping Malls

You may finding the nearest Recycling Bin via this website:

Figure 4 Screenshot of SLA
Clicking Steps:
  Themes>Environment>Recycling Bins

There are other services which you may be interested in exploring on this website, e.g. 2nd Hand Goods Collection Points, Cash for Trash and Green Mark Building.

Smart Bins at Hong Kah Community Club

Figure 5 Smart Bins at Hong Kah CC
 Figure 5 Smart Bins at Hong Kah Community Club

The newly introduced and attractive Smart Bins were placed at the Hong Kah Community Club in December 2015 to promote the habit of recycling[2].

Hopefully, these Smart Bins can be widely introduced across the island to further encourage Singaporeans to recycle.

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What to Recycle in Singapore?

There are 5 main categories that recyclable items are usually classified under, (1) Paper, (2) Plastics, (3) Metal, (4) Glass and (5) Others.

You may press Ctrl+F to find if certain items are recyclable.

(1) Paper (纸)

Most papers are recyclable. Below are some examples (list is non-exhaustive) which you can place into the recycling bins in Singapore [3].

  • Red Packets (Ang Bao, Hong Bao, 红包)
  • Envelopes (信封)
  • Cardboard tubes for paper towels (Toilet paper tube, 纸筒)
  • Brochures (Flyers, pamphlets, 宣传纸, 宣传册)
    [Both glossy and non-glossy. 无论是否用光纸印的。]
  • Shredded papers (碎纸)
  • Any box (Cereal box, biscuit box, 纸皮箱, 纸盒)
    [Flatten if possible. 尽可折叠。]
  • Drink pack/carton (饮料包装)
    [Empty it, rinse and flatten if possible. 清空、并尽可清洗与折平。]
  • Yellow Pages
  • Stamps (邮票)
  • Namecards (名片)
  • Newspapers (报纸)
  • Magazines (Newsletters, 杂志)
  • Books (书)
  • Corrugated cardboard (瓦楞纸板)

(2) Plastics (塑料)

Usually, we would think that all plastics are recyclable but Styrofoam is a big NO.
Many would take a look at the number being surrounded by 3 arrows, which form a triangle, and try to determine whether that particular piece of plastic can be recycled – Resin Identification Code (RIC).

We need to understand that the RIC DOES NOT TELL US THE RECYCLABILITY OF THE PLASTIC, it only communicates the unique properties of the plastic [4].

1. PET (Polyethylene terephthalate) – Used for water bottles, soft drink and cooking oil bottles, and meal trays.

2. HDPE (High density polyethylene) – Used for milk and detergent bottles.

3. PVC (Polyvinyl chloride) – Used for plastic pipes, food trays, shrink wrap, and bottles.

4. LDPE (Low density polyethylene) – Used for plastic bags and bin liners.

5. PP (Polypropylene) – Used for bottle caps, margarine tubs, and meal trays.

6. PS (Polystyrene) – Used for food containers, egg cartons, vending cups, plastic cutlery, and protective packaging for electronic goods.

7. OTHER – Includes any other plastic that does not fall into the above categories.

All type 1 and 2 can be recycled. For plastics with RIC above 2, you might want to check against the list below provided by ZeroWasteSG:

  • Plastic drink bottle / container
  • Bread wrapper & tag
  • Plastic bag / packaging
  • Plastic packaging for biscuit / beverage packets
  • Facial foam plastic tube
  • CD & casing
  • Plastic cutlery
  • Yakult / Vitagen / yogurt bottle
  • Plastic cup / container
  • Straw
  • Cleaner / shampoo bottle
  • Cassette /video tape

(3) Metal (金属)

There are two types of metal, ferrous metal which are magnetic (e.g. iron & steel) and non-ferrous metal which are non-magnetic (e.g. stainless steel, aluminium, copper & bronze.

Ferrous metal are usually recycled in local steel mill while non-ferrous metal are transported overseas for recycling.

The common types of metal scrap in Singapore are [5]:

  • Steel (drink cans, aerosol cans, food containers, bars, beams, wires, pipes, chains, electrical goods, cars, etc)
  • Stainless steel (clippings, sheets, turnings, etc)
  • Aluminium (drink cans, clippings and turnings, windows and door frames, aluminium casting and sheet, etc)
  • Copper (copper wires, strips, etc)

(4) Glass (玻璃)

Recycled glass are usually sorted into clear, brown and green, and exported overseas as there is no glass recycling plant in Singapore [6].

Examples of glass that can be recycled:

  • Beer / wine bottle
  • Glass container
  • Glass cups
  • Wine glasses

(5) Others (其它)


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[1] ZeroWasteSG (

[2] The Straits Times: Hong Kah North rolls out smart bins in green campaign (

[3] ZeroWasteSG: Can Recycle? (

[4] Earth911: Frequent Plastic Jug & Bottle Recycling Questions (

[5] ZeroWasteSG: Metal Recycling (

[6] ZeroWasteSG: Glass Recycling (