Toshiba beefs up e-waste recycling in Singapore ahead of 2021 regulations

13, Nov. 2019

SINGAPORE, NNA – Toshiba Corp. is reinforcing e-waste recycling in Singapore in preparation for the government’s push for the establishment of a recycling scheme for electronics and home appliances in 2021.

Toshiba Data Dynamics Pte. Ltd., its group arm, is spearheading the collection and recycling of electronic products in Singapore, dealing annually in some 13,000 tons from nearly 200 firms, Dannis Leow, general manager of the Electronic Imaging Business Unit, told NNA in an interview last month.

The local unit, a distributor of Toshiba brand communication and information technology products in the city-state, participated in 2017 in a voluntary e-waste management program under a campaign by the National Environment Agency, the authority responsible for ensuring a clean and green environment.

Meanwhile, it has teamed up with Metech Recycling Pte. Ltd., a local waste management firm, in the processes for recycling items like multifunctional copy machines, personal computers and smartphones.

Metech is selling rare metals extracted from e-waste to specialty firms, CEO Benedict Lim said in an interview with NNA along with Toshiba senior officials, including Leow.

Toshiba Data Dynamics is aiming to increase its clients to 50 percent of the total from the current 30 percent as soon as possible ahead of the implementation of mandatory e-waste management regulations in 12 product categories, such as white goods, ICT equipment, batteries and solar panels, to enter into force in 2021, Leow said.

Several local and foreign firms have so far joined the government’s voluntary program, according to the agency known as NEA.

Leow echoed Metech’s Lim that unlicensed businesses solely sort and abandon e-waste while utilizing only a fraction of it for reuse, as the country has yet to draw up substantial laws and regulations on e-waste management.

Southeast Asia’s richest economy generates about 60,000 tons of electrical and electronic waste per year, according to the NEA. The e-waste amount per person in the country stood at about 18 kilograms, one of the highest levels in Asia along with Hong Kong at 19 kg, according to a 2017 report by United Nations University.

Manufacturers in the dozen designated categories of products will be responsible for producing, selling, collecting and recycling them under the planned regulations.