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011221 service-and-conservancy-charges-household-refuse-collection-fees

NEA To Raise Household Refuse Collection Fees by 16.7% From 1 January 2022: Here's What You Need to Know

profileJoel Koh

In case you missed it.

Here’s a piece of garbage news you should take note of.

Source: Sesame Street | Giphy

On 30 November 2021, the National Environmental Agency (NEA) announced that it will be raising refuse collection fees for households living in Housing and Development Board (HDB) flats and private apartments (i.e. condominiums that have not opted out of the public waste collection scheme).

In addition, refuse collection fees for households living in landed property will be raised too.

This pretty much covers the whole of Singapore.

Here is all you need to know about the increase.


TL;DR: Town Council Service and Conservancy Charges Changes — NEA to Raise Household Refuse Collection Fees by 16.7% From 1 January 2022

 Household Refuse Collection Fees (Before 1 Jan 2022)Household Refuse Collection Fees (From 1 Jan 2022)Percentage Increase | Amount Increase
HDB Flats/Private Apartments (Condos)$8.25/month (incl. GST)$9.63/month (incl. GST)+16.7% |
+$1.38/month
Landed Property$27.47/month (incl. GST)$32.07/month (incl. GST)+16.7% |
+$4.60/month

What Are Town Council Service and Conservancy Charges?

Before we begin, it is important that you know a bit about Service and Conservancy Charges (S&CC).

For the uninitiated, Town Councils charge S&CC fees used for the management, upkeep, and improvement of the common property and facilities they govern.

This includes services like lift and lighting maintenance, cleaning work and conservancy services like fogging to control the spread of dengue and household refuse collection.

Household Refuse Collection Fees Increase

Speaking of household refuse collection, the National Environment Agency (NEA) will be raising the refuse collection fees for households in Singapore from 1 January 2022:

 Household Refuse Collection Fees (Before 1 Jan 2022)Household Refuse Collection Fees (From 1 Jan 2022)Percentage Increase | Amount Increase
HDB Flats/Private Apartments (Condos)$8.25/month (incl. GST)$9.63/month (incl. GST)+16.7% |
+$1.38/month
Landed Property$27.47/month (incl. GST)$32.07/month (incl. GST)+16.7% |
+$4.60/month

Note that these fees are inclusive of the prevailing Goods and Services Tax (GST) which stands at 7 per cent.

Source: SGAG

The Last Refuse Collection Fees Revision Was in 2017

For context, the refuse collection fees for households are reviewed once every two years.

The good news is that refuse collection fees were last revised in 2017 and have remained unchanged since then.

Why The Increase?

To understand why NEA is raising refuse collection fees, some background about how our trash in Singapore is collected is needed.

Like many other statutory boards, NEA puts out open and competitive tenders to engage Public Waste Collectors (PWCs) to collect refuse from households.

As of today, there are three PWCs serving six sectors across Singapore:

  • 800 Super Waste Management Pte Ltd (800 Super) serves the Ang Mo Kio-Toa Payoh and Pasir Ris-Bedok sectors
  • ALBA W&H Smart City Pte Ltd (ALBA W&H) serves the Jurong sector
  • SembWaste Pte. Ltd. (SembWaste) serves the Clementi-Bukit Merah, City-Punggol, and Woodlands-Yishun sectors.
Source: NEA

Naturally, these PWCs will have to be paid.

The payment is made by households who pay their PWC a monthly refuse collection fee included in their monthly utility bill.

This fee is calculated by accounting for the weighted average of the PWCs’ charges and any changes arising from contractual adjustments.

But, in recent years, PWC charges have been increasing steadily in concert with raising manpower and manpower costs.

The migrant worker manpower labour crunch brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic did not help either.

NEA added that:

refuse collection is traditionally labour-intensive. As the demand for waste collection services continues to rise, it is not sustainable to continue increasing manpower to meet the service demand. Transforming the waste collection sector is necessary to increase efficiency, promote growth and create better jobs in this sector. Reducing the need for more manpower and other resources helps to manage costs.

As part of our efforts to uplift and transform the waste management industry, NEA works with PWCs to adopt innovative solutions and technologies to improve productivity and efficiency. The PWCs, which are appointed through open, competitive tenders, have implemented command and control centres that centralise digital fleet management and deployment capabilities for greater operational efficiency.

Where possible, recyclables are collected using side-loading bins and trucks, which enable higher-capacity collection of recyclables with a one-man collection crew, and dual-compartment trucks for same-trip collection of recyclables and garden waste from landed premises.

Although the increase is not ideal, at least NEA is well aware of the issue and are working towards fixing it.

Support and Financial Assistance for Households With Service and Conservancy Charges

NEA has also pointed out that the household refuse collection fee can be offset by the GST Voucher – U-Save rebates.

This scheme helps eligible HDB households with their utility expenses.

Here’s a look at how many months of S&CC rebates you’re potentially eligible for:

HDB Flat TypeNumber of Months of S&CC Rebate in FY2021
April 2021July 2021October 2021January 2022Total for FY2021
1- and 2-room1110.53.5
3- and 4-room10.50.50.52.5
5-room0.50.50.50.52
Executive / Multi-Generation0.50.50.5-1.5

Understanding Service and Conservancy Charges (S&CC)

If you’re looking at the number of months of S&CC rebates you’re eligible for and are going, “Chey… 3.5 months only. Like nothing really much leh…”

WRONG.

S&CC charges can range from $54.20 for a 1-room HDB flat to ~$101 for an Executive HDB flat.

And that’s EVERY MONTH.

To give you a better sense of how much you’d be saving, here’s an overview of the current Service and Conservancy Charges (S&CC):

Types Of Flat You Stay InNormal RateReduced Rate
1-room flat$54.20$20.50
2-room flat$56.70$30.50
3-room flat$63.00

$79.50
(Design-Build-and-Sell Scheme)
$46.00

$62.50
(Design-Build-and-Sell Scheme)
4-room flat$72.50

$88.00
(Design-Build-and-Sell Scheme)
$63.50

$79.00
(Design-Build-and-Sell Scheme)
5-room flat$86.50

$99.50
(Design-Build-and-Sell Scheme)
$79.50
Executive/ Multi-Generation$101.00-

If your household is facing financial difficulties, here are some initiatives that will help you and your family pull through difficult times:

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About Joel Koh
History student turned writer at Seedly. Before you ask, not a teacher. I hope to help people make better financial decisions and not let money control them.
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