Speech - Opening Remarks by Ms Low Khah Gek, CEO/ITE, at the MOU Signing between ITE and ALBA E-Waste Smart Recycling Pte Ltd at ITE College East on 18 July 2022

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  • Publish date:18 Jul 2022

Dr Amy Khor
Senior Minister of State, Ministry of Sustainability & the Environment and Ministry of Transport

Mr Jakob Lambsdorff
Chief Executive Officer, ALBA Singapore

Mr Fons Krist
General Manager, ALBA E-Waste Smart Recycling Pte Ltd

Guests from NEA, 
Industry Partners and Friends from ALBA E-Waste,
ITE Colleagues and students, 
Ladies and Gentlemen


Types of E-Waste 
All of us produce e-waste (electronic products that are at end of their useful life). We change handphones every 2 to 3 years, iPads, laptops and desktops every 4 to 5 years. At home, we change television sets and fridges every 8 to 10 years. Our offices have already discarded fax machines some years back and every 10 to 15 years, we change photocopiers, monitors, screens, vending machines, freezers and in future solar panels too.

Much of the E-Waste generated in Singapore annually mostly end up in the landfill. In 2018, an NEA study revealed only 6% are re-cycled. In Europe, the recycling rate is 47%. There is clearly room for us to do better. E-Waste contain valuable and scarce resources such as silver, gold, palladium and platinum (Ag, Au, Pd, Pt). Given that such the availability of such metals are finite, it is important to extract and recycle them.

Responsible Disposal
E-Waste also contain toxic substances such as lead, mercury, cadmium, barium and lithium. These toxic substances have to be properly handled so that they will not leach into soil or pollute our air and water supplies.

Educating Students on Sustainability and Circular Economy
Singapore has always been aware of the need to balance economic development and environmental sustainability. Growing the economy consumes energy, water and other resources, and meanwhile generates waste to be disposed of. These are challenges faced by every country, but especially so for Singapore where resources and land are scarce. Our only landfill, Pulau Semakau will be filled up within years at our current rate of waste generation.

To overcome these challenges and yet continue to grow sustainably, Singapore must adopt a circular economy approach. This requires a shift from the ‘use and throw’ mentality, to one where resources are re-used for as long as possible. We recover resources at the end of a product’s life and channel them back into production.

ITE places strong emphasis on educating our students on sustainability and circular economy through the formal curriculum in their trade courses and discuss the new business models, innovations and developments in the various industry sectors. We also want to include these messages in the informal curriculum and inculcate habits of reducing waste and recycling as a way of life.

MOU with ALBA on Circular Green Economy
ITE is thus particularly pleased to sign an MOU with ALBA E-Waste Smart Recycling Pte Ltd to collaborate in the field of Circular Green Economy. We will work together to build awareness and participation in the e-waste recycling and management ecosystem.

We have worked with ALBA to develop five micro-learning courses (MLC) on e-waste management. These MLCs form part of our Circular Green Economy Learning Series and will be made available for ITE staff, students and the public. At the end of the Learning Series, each participant will undergo an online assessment and be certified as ALBA’s Agent of Change for E-Waste (ACE).

This afternoon, we have the pleasure of having Dr Amy Khor, Senior Minister of State, Ministry of Sustainability & the Environment to launch the ITE-ALBA Learning Series on Circular Green Economy and e-waste management. On behalf of ITE, I would like to thank Dr Amy Khor for gracing today’s event. Our appreciation also goes to ALBA for your partnership to prepare ITE students to work in, as well as, be advocates for the green circular economy.

Thank you.