Its not as easy to recycle in Bangkok as it is in most developed countries. But, if there’s a will, there’s a way!
General waste includes things like milk cartons, plastic bottles, glass bottles. Unfortunately there is no formal recycling scheme in Thailand. Larger businesses and apartment buildings can sell recyclable materials directly to recycling factories; glass and plastic bottles, cans, paper. See section below Large Waste for details.
For small households, the good old “Khuad ma Khay” is our best recycling friend. They are the back bone of recycling in Thailand. You may have wondered what these cycling gypsies were trying to accomplish by going through our rubbish to scavenge bottles, paper and other scraps…well, they are doing their part for recycling. They collect our recycle goods and sell them to the larger recycling factories. So separate your recyclable goods and donate them to your friendly “Khuad ma Khay”. For other waste such as food, battery, computer etc, keep reading.
And then, if you live in Prawet, there’s the Zero Baht Shop. https://www.facebook.com/0bahtshop. The Thailand Institute of Packaging and Recycling Management for Sustainable Environment has set up Thailand’s very first swap shop. Located in On Nut Soi 14, the “Zero Baht” store, operates under a very simple concept: bring in recyclable items that you no longer need or want and swap them for consumer goods such as packaged food, drinks, washing detergent and many other household products. It’s hoped that this will help to reduce the cost of people’s living as well as lessen the amount of waste in Bangkok.
Got an old laptop you need to get rid of? This is without a doubt the best way to dispose of it. Contact this great company. Not only do they recycle the computer, but they are also socially responsible. Thai Ecotrade (Thai IT Disposal) guarantees every piece of equipment collected will be properly recycled in compliance with Thai and international regulations. They will give the amount of money that your IT good is valued at directly to their partner NGO. Their partner NGO then uses the money to finance activities with disadvantage children and sends you back a donation certificate as a testimony. They have a form on their website, you fill it out, send it to them by fax or email and they pick up your IT assets. This is great for big companies and for individuals.
I found this box on the 4th Floor at IT Fortune Mall. You can deposit, phone batteries, mouses/mice, other small IT hardware and mobile phones.
There are boxes located at its 22 branches nationwide where any one can put in used batteries and mobile phones etc. This electronic waste will then go into a proper disposal programme. The network has now expanded to cover Lenovo stores and 20 Lenovo service centres.
Moving away? Want to give away things to a great cause?
Second Chance Bangkok (SCB) is a local initiative by residents of Khlong Toey Slum, along with the help of Chris and Jodie MacCartney, that seeks to, reuse and recycle household and office items, while creating employment opportunities to support families in the Khlong Toey Slum. Donations of second-hand goods are received largely from ex-pats and are then sorted and sold from a store near the slum, or passed on to those who lack the resources to purchase essential items. You can drop things off at their store or organise for them to come and pick up. Visit their website for more details: http://www.scbkk.org
Large Waste (i.e. Construction, Machinery etc.)
There are many places that are more than happy to purchase large waste e.g. aluminium rods, copper wires, steel construction materials, old tractors, construction equipment alongside the lucrative plastic bottles. Most of them have a pick-up service.
Here are a list of a few of those companies:
- Wongpanit, Chongburi: http://www.wongpanit.com/wpnnew/eng/index.php** This great company also offers recycling franchises. They list all their buying prices on their website. Pepsi-Cola (Thai) Trading Co, a local arm of PepsiCo Inc, announced a new partnership with Wongpanit to promote the collection, separation and recycling of PET bottles. Read a great article about Wongpanit here: http://www.bangkokpost.com/print/288912/
- Prab Kaya, Bangkok: http://www.prabkaya.co.th/ ** This company provides training for people who want to start recycling businesses. They offer training courses and franchises. Website in Thai only.
- A Recycle Group, bangkok: http://www.po-recycle.com/?lang=en
- Bangkok Recycle, Bangkok: http://www.bangkokrecycle.com/
- Prompt Recycle, Chiang Mai: http://promptrecycle.com/