What to do with used dinnerware in Singapore?

The dinnerware, made of china, earthenware, stoneware or glass all have a limited life and often become unusable due to sitting aesthetics, accidents or wear and tear. There are also devising considerations which lead to people buying new sets to replace old dinnerware which leaves the question on what to do with the used dishes and bowls. Like any other places, citizens of Singapore also have this problem. However, there are many ways for repurposing or safely disposing of the used dinnerware. The item types and the reason for replacing them play a major role in determining what to do with the used dinnerware. For example, some usage or repurposing requires the dinnerware to be intact and some require it to be broken. Based on the value or design of the used dinnerware, and the inclinations of the owner or even the free time the owner has for such projects determines the best way for disposing or reusing the old dinnerware. Moreover, each person has specific aesthetic values which limit the possible options for what to do with old dinnerware. Therefore, the discussed option for what to do with the used dinnerware varies for each person. 

Reselling or donating old dinnerware

Find out more on where to donate and resell pre-loved dinnerware in the link here! Should I dispose or donate my old dinnerware? 

The old dinnerware that is intact can be resold in the various online channels or thrift shops dealing with these items. In Singapore, sites like Gumtree can be used for the same reason where the picture and descriptions of the used dinnerware can be used to sell the old used dinnerware. There are also charities which take in the donated items and give them to disadvantaged groups or charities which can be used for disposing of used dinnerware that does not meet the aesthetic or usage requirements of the owner. While in the US there is a trend of putting old used items in the box marked free on the curbside, there is still no such practice in Singapore so this is likely to cause fines from the municipalities or housing authorities. 

Environmentally-friendly disposal 

The most viable option for most of the people when dealing with broken dinnerware is to throw them in the trash bins. However, this is a risk in itself as while the used glassware or ceramic can be disposed of or recycled, there is also the danger of contamination which makes this major factor for consideration from an environmental viewpoint. For example, the microwave-safe glassware like Pyrex or Corningware, which is treated specifically to endure very high temperatures, cannot be recycled safely. Moreover, one tonne batch of recycled glass can be contaminated with as little as five grams of heat-treated glass. Therefore, these items, while very durable, are unsafe for recycling, making throwing them in the trash a huge danger. However, in the case of ceramics, there is no such risk as crashed ceramics are often used in filtration and drainage systems and rock base in construction. In many instances, the ceramic is also crushed and smoothed to be used as gravel which makes throwing them in the trash or taking them to recycle centres a viable option in Singapore. 

Repurposing or upcycling 

The used dinnerware made of earthenware or china or even glass can be used in many arts and craft ideas which can be used for both aesthetic and functional values. The ability of ceramics of porcelain to withstand heat is one characteristic that makes the intact deep containers ideal for candle making. The people with enough time or inclination and make these candles themselves or sell them as art supplies as per their preference. The use of broken china in the mosaic is also a huge part of rafts using both cement and epoxies which is also a viable option for broken used dinnerware. However, as there are many thrift stores and consignment shops in Singapore dealing in used dinnerware of varied materials, breaking intact dishes for arts and crafts seems somewhat wasteful. Therefore, this idea is only viable if there is broken dinnerware in the house as there are many other more suitable ways for dealing with used dinnerware.  These arts and recycling stores buying the broken dinnerware by weight or chipped items for other crafts are therefore an option that needs to be used when dinnerware is replaced because of damage. 

Home DIY 

The DIY ideas for arts and crafts are a major popular trend for people. The ideas that are based on using the used dinnerware might just be the way for using up the old dinnerware for people with the necessary inclinations.  There are numerous ideas of using dinnerware in decoration and other purposes on the internet which can be used at will, depending on the items available at hand. One such idea is a wall hanging which can be made of mix and matched used dinnerware with stencilled letters glued to mats of clothes or even directly hung on the wall using dish holders. A mentioned before the use of broken china in mosaic art using epoxy or cement is popular and thus any people with used dinnerware can use them for this purpose. Projects like tabletops, birdbaths or small decoration can be made with used dinnerware which is also a possibility. Glueing the dinnerware together strategically to make a multi-tiered confection stand or other utensil is also a potential hobby which can reuse old dinnerware in new and exciting ways. Glueing mirrors into china dishes is also an option for used dishes as the patterns on the edges of china dishes are often most colourful making this an easy way turning a used plate into a decorative item. 

If you are interested in Kintsugi (Japanese art of fixing broken pottery through gold adhesive) find out more in this link here: Kintsugi Kits and workshop in Singapore

The people in Singapore especially the one living urbanised areas have multiple options for their used dinnerware which can be considered viable based on both the type of dinnerware and the person owning these items. Recycling the used dinnerware comes with some limitations but it is also an option for the users in most cases. The use of the broken or chipped dinnerware in the various arts and crafts is also a possibility which can be facilitated through selling these at craft stores or home DIY projects.