Recycling & tech team up
Singapore is known as one of the cleanest cities in the world, and its army of rag and bone collectors are the city-state's original recyclers. Called 'karang guni traders', these rag and bone collectors have traditionally picked up things that people throw away (like old newspapers, drinks cans, unwanted electronic devices, etc.) to sell them on to other karang guni traders or recycling firms. Singapore's recycling business was hit hard by the pandemic due to the economic shutdown, however the National Environment Agency (NEA) thinks this was a blip and is focussed on plans to become a zero-waste economy. The government still sees karang guni traders playing a crucial part in its sustainability programme, and there are now private technology firms working with the karang guni industry. One such firm is SembWaste, whose app helps connect the karang guni collectors with companies during their working day, as well as members of the public who want recycling collected from outside their homes. Apps are seen as the future of the industry, especially as younger people enter the karang guni trade.