“The first step in solving any problem is recognizing there is one.” Will McAvoy, The Newsroom
Singapore produces more than 60,000 tonnes of electrical and electronic waste (e-waste) each year, and the rate of e-waste generation is expected to increase in tandem with economic growth and the prevalence of electrical and electronic equipment (EEE) among consumers and businesses.
SGTech’s Sustainability Committee and social enterprise Sustainable Living Lab (SL2) have joined together to launch eRevival Square, an initiative to raise community awareness to address the growing e-waste problem in Singapore.
To run over a period of six months starting from 25 July 2021, the pilot programme aims to build on the reach of SL2’s ground-up initiative, Repair Kopitiam, and further drive awareness of sustainability in Singapore.
Comprising virtual and community activities starting on 25 July 2021 and spread over six months, the programme brings cross-industry stakeholders, including the government, to tackle the issue of e-waste in the country.
"There has not been enough attention on E-waste, and the problem is accelerating. We feel the complexities of E-waste management can only be solved via a multi-pronged approach, involving government, businesses and people,” said SGTech Chairman Wong Wai Meng.
He added that this approach involves rallying industry partners to work with National Environment Agency (NEA) to champion the success of Singapore’s E-waste programme.
By creating greater awareness through a people, private and public sector partnership around the problem of E-waste, one of the goals is to cultivate a different attitude towards consumption of electronics as well as encouraging a repair mindset within the community.
As part of the eRevival Square initiative, SGTech and SL2 will also organise an #E-WASTENOMORE challenge to upcycle or repair e-waste in conjunction with the Clean & Green month in November, host a Virtual Repair Kopitiam series by live streaming repair demonstrations online, start an appliance collection and donation drive and set up ICT equipment repair and dismantling stations at Repair Kopitiam sessions at Our Tampines Hub.
As an incentive, a reward system will be created for participants joining any repair, recovery, dismantling and E-Waste collection activities.
"We feel that when a product turns into e-waste, it is already too late. Hence, it is important to educate the public on how to dispose of them when they have reached the end of their lives and to encourage a culture of repairing and repurposing to extend the life of products in Singapore. E-waste is a multi-dimensional problem that requires the cooperation of many stakeholders to address. I am hopeful that this tri-sector collaboration will give us insights into how other sustainability issues could be addressed similarly," said Veerarapan Swaminathan, founder and director of Sustainable Living Lab.