High-rise litterbug fined $19,800, sentenced to 5 hours of corrective work order

Images of the man throwing cigarettes out of his window. The 38-year-old committed 34 acts of high-rise littering by repeatedly throwing out cigarette butts from his home at Block 224C Compassvale Walk, the National Environment Agency (NEA) said in a
Images of the man throwing cigarettes out of his window. The 38-year-old committed 34 acts of high-rise littering by repeatedly throwing out cigarette butts from his home at Block 224C Compassvale Walk, the National Environment Agency (NEA) said in a statement on Wednesday. -- PHOTO: NEA

SINGAPORE - A 38-year-old man found guilty of high-rise littering has been sentenced to five hours of corrective work order and asked to pay $19,800 - the highest fine meted out to date.

He had committed 34 acts of high-rise littering by repeatedly throwing out cigarette butts from his home at Block 224C Compassvale Walk , the National Environment Agency (NEA) said in a statement on Wednesday. It is not known which floor his home was located on.

The offences were committed between March 13 and 16 in 2014, and he was fined six months later on Sept 19.

The NEA said it had received five instances of feedback on high-rise littering at the block between June 2013 and June 2014. In response, the agency had staked out the area, and the Town Council and grassroots organisations had made rounds to educate residents. Still, the problem persisted.

The offender was finally caught after the NEA installed surveillance cameras over two periods - between Nov 14 and 19, 2013, and between March 13 and 18, 2014.

Overall, the NEA had received 2,500 pieces of feedback on high-rise littering islandwide in 2014.

"In most cases, the situation improved following outreach and education efforts by NEA, the Town Councils and grassroots organisations," it said in the statement.

Enforcement efforts have also been ramped up, with more surveillance cameras being deployed in areas with persistent high-rise littering feedback. Cameras were deployed at about 600 such places, and NEA took 206 enforcement actions against offenders caught throwing high-rise litter such as tissue paper and food waste.

The NEA said it will continue to work with the relevant Town Councils and grassroots organisations on outreach efforts to encourage residents to be gracious and to take personal ownership of shared environment spaces.