Panasonic Initiates Pilot Heartland E-Waste Recycling Programme for Home Appliances in Singapore [Press Release]
5th July 2013, Singapore – Recognising the need to raise awareness and provide an integrated platform for recycling of home appliances and electronic waste, is the driving force behind the Heartland E-Waste Recycling Programme launched today. Initiated by Panasonic Asia Pacific (Panasonic), in partnership with South East Community Development Council (CDC), National Environment Agency (NEA), electrical and electronic retailer BEST Denki, e-waste recycler Cimelia, and public waste collector SembWaste; the pilot programme provides a hassle-free avenue for recycling of home appliances and e-waste. The South East District is the launch pad for the programme which will run from July to December 2013. The first e-waste collection will take place on 14th July, in conjunction with Marine Parade Town Day.
Mr. Paul Wong, Managing Director, Panasonic Singapore, commented, “The recycling of home appliances, which are generally bulky in nature, has been challenging for consumers. This may have led to improper waste treatment which would then have negative repercussions on the environment. By initiating the Heartland E-Waste Recycling Programme, Panasonic aims to provide an integrated channel from which the community can recycle both their home appliances and e-waste conveniently. We hope to contribute to resource conservation, and strive for a better life and a better world for Singapore residents. Panasonic needs the support of all our partners and the community to realise the success of the programme. Ultimately, recycling is a shared responsibility.”
The six-month trial, supported by NEA’s Call for Ideas Fund, encourages residents to participate in Monthly Collection Drives, held every first Sunday of the month, starting 14th July. Collection points for portable e-waste and general waste such as paper, aluminium cans and plastic bottles will be set up at 10 Resident Committee Centres in Marine Parade and Mountbatten. In addition, HDB residents can engage Marine Parade Town Council Bulky Items Removal Service, and all residents can use the BEST Denki Disposal Service for recycling of unwanted bulky home appliances. All e-waste will be collected and sent to Cimelia to be segregated and recycled in order to retrieve essential raw materials such as plastics and precious metals, for the production of new products. General recyclables will be sent to SembWaste for recycling.
As part of the outreach activities for the Heartland E-Waste Recycling Programme, Panasonic provided promotional collateral to be disseminated at the community level and will be organising talks in schools, as well as enlisting the help of students for home visits. Students from participating schools will be able to recycle their portable e-waste by dropping them into the collection bins placed within the schools’ premises. As part of experiential learning, Panasonic will also bring students to visit the Panasonic factory and Cimelia recycling plant, to better understand the concept of recycling. Concurrently, promotional activities will be conducted at BEST Denki retail outlets.
Providing a creative spin on the topic of e-waste recycling, Panasonic collaborated with young local artist, KC Gan, on a life sized art sculpture titled, “In Bloom”. Built solely out of e-waste as a representation of a flower in bloom, the art sculpture epitomises the concept of renewal and seeks to inspire the community to join hands in the recycling endeavour. ”In Bloom”, unveiled at the programme launch today, will be displayed at the Marine Parade Community Centre till the end of the year, as a tangible reminder of the programme.
“I genuinely believe art has the ability to connect emotionally with people. Turning e-waste into art, “In Bloom” explores the concept of discarded home appliances taking on a new life. It was designed as an iconic reminder for the community to engage in responsible recycling. I hope, through my work, I am able to change perceptions and influence behaviours,” KC Gan said of the art sculpture.
Extending its CSR efforts, Panasonic has pledged to donate up to 5,000 energy-efficient light bulbs to the less privileged families in Marine Parade and Mountbatten. The number of energy-efficient light bulbs will be based on the amount of recyclables collected. Such is symbolic of how Panasonic, as a global manufacturer, contributes to society through its technological innovation, and seeks to encourage the society to do their part in conserving scarce resources. In addition, part of the proceeds from the BEST Denki Disposal Service will go to another 1,000 energy-efficient light bulbs, and monetary incentives under SembWaste’s “Cash for Trash” programme will contribute to the purchase of energy-efficient light bulbs.
Dr. Maliki Osman, Mayor of South East District, said, “The Heartland E-Waste Recycling Programme is an example of a good collaborative effort made by different entities in the community; corporations, agencies, grassroots organisations and schools towards a common cause. It’s also heartening to see corporate citizens like Panasonic, not only providing sponsorship, but also showing leadership in involving its own corporate partners in the effort and creating experiential learning journeys to their sites and facilities. Through this programme, South East CDC hopes to enhance residents’ and students’ community ownership and garner participation in the e-waste recycling programme, so together, we can better the environment we live in.”
Through the Heartland E-Waste Recycling Programme, Panasonic and its partners not only aim to create a convenient and efficient channel for proper e-waste disposal, but also heighten awareness of e-waste recycling. The results will be evaluated at the end of the programme with the hope of nationwide expansion.
 E-waste refers to discarded electrical or electronic devices. Under this programme, any device with an electrical cord is accepted.
 Details on roles and responsibilities of partners can be found in ANNEX A.
 First collection which will be conducted on the second Sunday of July (14th) is an exception. Details on Monthly Collection Drives can be found in ANNEX B.
 Marine Parade Town Council Removal Service provides free removal service of up to 3 bulky items per household per month. Bulky home appliances will be sent to Cimelia for recycling.
 The country-wide BEST Denki Disposal Service enables those who are looking to purchase new refrigerators, washing machines, dryers and TVs to dispose their e-waste at a fee. BEST Denki will send the e-waste to Cimelia for recycling.
ANNEX A – Roles & Responsibilities of Heartland E-Waste Recycling Programme Partners
Panasonic initiated the Heartland E-Waste Recycling Programme. Panasonic conducted promotional activities, as well as coordinated publicity efforts in the South East District to raise awareness on the programme, and highlight the importance of e-waste recycling and energy efficiency in households. Panasonic will also sponsor 5,000 energy-efficient light bulbs to less privileged families in Marine Parade and Mountbatten.
South East CDC promoted the programme in its district and coordinated with recyclers on the collection of recyclables. South East CDC also liaised with less privileged families to better understand their needs.
NEA provided support for the programme via its Call for Ideas Fund. NEA, together with programme partners, will explore the feasibility of nationwide expansion at the end of the six-month trial.
Cimelia will lead e-waste collection efforts in Marine Parade and Mountbatten (designated collection points and participating schools) and participating retailers for disposal and treatment.
SembWaste will collect and process general recyclables from designated collection points in Marine Parade and Mountbatten. Monetary incentives under the SembWaste’s “Cash for Trash” programme will contribute to the purchase of light bulbs for less privileged families in the district.
BEST Denki conducted promotional activities at its retail outlets in Singapore. E-Waste collection bins will also be located at the BEST Denki Parkway Parade retail outlet. Through the BEST Denki Disposal Service, BEST Denki will collect bulky e-waste at point of delivery of newly purchased home appliances. Partial proceeds from the disposal service will go towards the donation of light bulbs for less privileged families in Marine Parade and Mountbatten.
ANNEX B – Collection Mechanism
Source and Image: Panasonic