Each town would have a Community Recycling Center (CRC) to complement the National Recycling Programme (NRP) and to promote community 3R (Reduce, Reuse, Recycle) participation.
The CRC would preferably be managed by the residents or Town Councils, and serve as a community space and platform where residents can come together to learn and participate in reducing, reusing and recycling waste materials. Residents and schools in the community can volunteer to run the CRC, and engage other residents to take part in the activities held at the CRC.
The CRC is a physical space (about 0.5 - 1 ha size) and includes 3 core activities:
- Bulk recycling bins for collection of common recyclables from residents, such as paper, plastics, metals, glass, clothing, electrical and electronic items (to be sold to recycling companies or sent to existing NRP contractors).
- Collection of food waste from residents (to be composted onsite using composter machine or normal composting, or sent to anaerobic digestion plants for producing energy).
- Collection of used cooking oil (to be sent to plants for producing biodiesel).
2) Reduce and Reuse
- Educate residents and students about waste minimisation and recycling, with posters, hands-on activities, and site tour.
- Collection of used furniture for repairing and refurbishing onsite (refurbished furniture are sold to residents or given to needy).
- Tool library for the lending of common tools to residents to help them fix and repair items, and could include power, hand, wood, painting, and plumbing tools.
- Conduct training classes on DIY skills (eg. how to repair computers and handphones, fix lighting and water systems, carpentry and home renovation skills, etc) for the residents to learn new skills and also to make a living.
- Workshops to teach residents on upcycling and making recycled crafts for sale. They can reuse the material collected at the CRC and have access to the tools.
3) Flea Market
- Held every weekend at the CRC to sell the refurbished furniture and recycled crafts
- Provide platform for residents interested in selling their unwanted stuff, or to give away or exchange unwanted items with other residents.
The CRC could be operated as a social enterprise to provide jobs for needy residents in the community. Revenue would come from the sale of recyclables and refurbished furniture. Extra revenue could also come from providing advertising space to companies at the CRC.
To attract residents to bring down their recyclables to the CRC, residents would be
given credits for their recyclables and these credits could be exchanged for food and
products. The food and products could be sponsored by companies and the programme could be operated as part of a company’s corporate social responsibility activities.
In addition, the CRC could be designed as a green center with the following features:
- Use of natural and recycled building material
- Use of natural daylight and natural ventilation
- Generating energy from solar panels
- Use of energy efficient lights and appliances
- Rainwater harvesting for non-potable usage