The National Environment Agency (NEA) is considering to charge Singapore residents by the amount of rubbish they throw. The idea was proposed by an Canada-based environmental consultant Golder Associates, who was appointed by the NEA. Speaking at the Energy Innovation forum on Friday (Jun 3), consultant Daniel Ponder said that this idea is similar to paying utilities, and this would “encourage users to recycle”.

PAP MP for Nee Soon GRC Lee Bee Wah supported the idea and claimed that subsidies can be arranged for the low income. However, with the existing subsidies-based social support, cost of living remains unaffordable for the poor in Singapore. Not charging the low income extras does not improve their existing financial conditions but only serve to increase the cost of living burden for everyone else.

Currently, HDB households pay S$7.49 a month for rubbish collection services managed by their Town Council. Town Councils chalked up millions of sinking funds every year after earning a profit from Service and Conservancy Charges levied upon each household. Instead of implementing cost-savings incentives and rebates for Singapore households, the NEA is considering charging more to force people to recycle.