Various 'reduce, reuse, recycle' programmes to reach out to young

We thank Ms Rachel Lee Rui Qi for her letter "More emphasis on 'reduce, reuse, recycle' needed in curriculum" (Forum Online, Dec 7).

We agree with Ms Lee on the importance of inculcating good 3R habits (reduce, reuse, recycle) from a young age, given that it is not sustainable for Singapore to continue building more waste disposal facilities because of land constraints.

The National Environment Agency (NEA) works with schools and the public waste collectors (PWC) to implement the School Recycling Corner Programme and provide educational materials on the 3Rs. 3R awards are presented annually to schools to recognise their efforts in promoting the 3Rs. The PWCs also work with schools to organise competitions and offer incentives in exchange for recyclables to support needy students.

There is also a Pre-school 3R Awareness Kit that kindergarten teachers can use in planning activities to educate their pre-schoolers on practising the 3Rs.

NEA also reaches out to young people through the Youth for the Environment Day (YED), an annual platform for young people to lead and participate in environmental activities.

As part of YED, schools organise environmental activities to increase students' awareness of environmental issues and they also conduct recycling drives within the school and the neighbourhood. Educational visits to recycling facilities, incineration plants and the offshore Semakau landfill are also conducted for the students.

The Character and Citizenship Education programmes in schools nurture values such as "care" and "responsibility", and provide opportunities for students to understand and take action on environmental issues.

Students are also given opportunities to be engaged in environmentally friendly activities through participation in environmental clubs, learning journeys and applied learning programmes.

Impressing upon the younger generation the importance of decreasing our waste footprint needs to be an ongoing and concerted effort by various stakeholders.

Ong Soo San

Director

Waste and Resource Management Department

National Environment Agency