Each year, Singapore generates approximately 60,000 tonnes of e-waste, a figure that equates to about 11 kilograms of waste per person. The problem of e-waste is not unique to Singapore—and neither is the negative impact that discarded electronics can have on the country and its people.
To address this growing problem, HP Singapore created the HP Make IT Green campaign, a year-long national initiative designed to encourage responsible recycling of used electronics. The end result? The HP Make IT Green Campaign, combined with other HP recycling initiatives, collected more than 200,000 kilograms of used equipment and accessories in 2018, exceeding the original campaign goal of 50,000 kilograms.
Building awareness of the problem
A collaboration between HP, the National Environment Agency, and the South West Community Development Council, the HP Make IT Green campaign asked parents, children, and other citizens to bring their used PCs, monitors, chargers, and accessories to schools and community centers for donation. More than 63,000 students and 24 schools participated in the campaign.
A key part of the campaign focused on raising awareness among the general public of the three Rs – reduce, reuse, and recycle – through school assembly talks, a community roadshow, and a creative call-to-action to “defeat the E-Waste Monster,” a mechanical beast made up of discarded technology.
This community engagement was an important step since many people have no idea what to do with their used electronics. In fact, based on a survey done by the National Environment Agency, 60 percent of consumers are unsure of how to properly dispose of their e-waste. As disturbing is the fact that only 6 percent of e-waste is recycled, with most being passed to delivery men, thrown away, or traded in.
Donation helps support low-income families
The collected electronics were sent to one of HP’s recycling partners, TES-AMM. The company sorted and screened all the desktop and all-in-one PCs, laptops, and notebooks to determine which products could be refurbished and resold. Any equipment, as well as accessories, that could not be refurbished were set aside for recycling.
HP pledged 100 percent of the proceeds from donated devices that could be refurbished and resold to The Straits Times School Pocket Money Fund, which provides more than 10,000 children from low-income families with pocket money to pay for school-related expenses each year. In the end, the campaign raised SG$50,000 for the fund.
Students design ways to defeat e-waste monster
The campaign also included a competition for students to submit creative entries of the Mech Robot, a fictional character to “defeat” the E-Waste Monster, the campaign mascot. Students from primary, secondary, and tertiary schools submitted 271 entries.
The top winner from each category received trophy replicas of their Mech Robot designs that were created from recycled materials supplied by TES-AMM. The winners also received HP Deskjet 3721 All-in-One printers and HP Sprocket Plus photo printers.
The HP Make IT Green campaign supports HP’s efforts to reduce the impact that its business operations, supply chain, and products have on the environment. These efforts are just one component of HP’s Sustainable Impact strategy to create positive, lasting change for the planet, its people, and our communities.