Litter problem, big headache

Rubbish woes persist, but experts say Singapore's 'clean city' image can be reclaimed

An in-depth study to figure out the cause of littering, getting young students to try being cleaners for a day and heavier penalties are among the suggestions made to stop Singapore from becoming a "garbage city".

Academics, civil society members and Singapore residents whom The Straits Times spoke to also have their own take on why the problem persists and what needs to be done to solve it.

Aside from the often-cited reasons such as complacency fostered by an army of cleaners, a "don't care" attitude and growing up pampered, some suggest that different cultural attitudes among some of Singapore's new citizens and foreign workers, and a reluctance to truly shame culprits, could also be behind the country's litter woes.

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Why is littering still a problem in Singapore?

Complacency is the likely reason for Singapore's litter woes. Experts say that when people know there will be an army of cleaners to pick up after them, they become too lazy to do the right thing.

Singapore residents and Members of Parliament offer reasons why people do not clean up after themselves.

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Current measures against littering in Singapore

From slapping higher fines on litterbugs to mobilising volunteers to help deter them, Singapore has a range of measures in place in its efforts to keep the country clean.

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What more can be done to keep littering at bay?

Hefty fines, Corrective Work Orders (CWOs) to shame litterbugs, as well as many years of educational campaigns... yet, Singapore is still plagued by rubbish woes.

What more can be done to banish the problem to the bins?

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