New fee structure that paves the way for consolidation of the public waste collection scheme, which is a part of overall enhancements to the solid waste management industry
At the 2012 Budget Debate in March, the Ministry of the Environment and Water Resources announced that it would be developing a more robust and sustainable waste management system for Singapore. This is to cope with increasing costs amid challenges such as lack of land for waste management facilities amid a six-fold increase in solid waste disposal quantities since 1970. Residents will also be able to experience improved public waste collection service standards once the new measures kick in.
Consolidation of the public waste collection sectors
For a start, the current nine sectors that Singapore is divided into for waste collection will be consolidated into six sectors. This move is to derive greater cost savings from economies of scale. It reduces duplication of resources, while ensuring that the market remains competitive.
To facilitate the consolidation, a Uniform Fee (UF) has been introduced to unify the current disparate fee structure where waste collection fees differ from sector to sector. This avoids the situation where the fees vary across the different sectors, as the sectors differ in size and the number of households, and contracts to appoint public waste collectors were called at different times over a two-year period. These fees remain constant over the seven-year contract periods despite rising costs in manpower, fuel and other operating costs.
The UF is derived from the weighted average of the refuse collection fees charged by the Public Waste Collectors. It will evolve with as new contracts come into effect and might increase due to the upward cost pressures cited above. By January 2015, all HDB households will be paying a uniform fee for waste collection across the island. Similarly, all landed households will also pay a uniform fee. This scheme is also open to those staying in condominiums.
What happened on 1 July 2012 at Pasir Ris-Tampines and Bedok sectors
The UF scheme was launched on 1 July 2012 for residents living in the Pasir Ris-Tampines (PRT) and Bedok sectors under new public waste collection contracts. The UFs were set at $7.00 (w/o GST) per month for HDB and condominium households and $23.19 (w/o GST) per month for landed premises. These UFs are lower than the fees originally tendered under the new contracts.
What happened on 1 October 2013 at Jurong, Clementi and City sectors
The UFs have been reviewed and the scheme has been extended to include residents living in the Jurong, Clementi and City sectors under new public waste collection contracts on 1 October 2013. The UFs remain at $7.00 (w/o GST) per month for HDB and condominium households and $23.19 (w/o GST) per month for landed premises. These UFs are lower than the fees originally tendered under the new contracts.
The UFs will be reviewed on a regular basis so that future fee adjustments are gradual and not subject to fluctuations as in the current system. The next UF review is scheduled in January 2015 and every 2 years thereafter. After the next review in 2015, all HDB and condominium households will pay one single UF and all landed properties another single UF throughout Singapore.
Together with the consolidation of the sectors from nine to six, other measures are being implemented to help the industry realise efficiency gains, mitigate rising costs in labour and fuel, and raise standards and productivity while leveraging on technology and innovations. This will work towards creating a robust and vibrant industry that delivers high service standards, and ensure the sustainability and affordability of waste collection services.