There were two stainless steel eco incense paper burners at the front of my block ("Eco incense paper burners prove popular"; last Sunday). They were put there during Chinese New Year this year, and have since been removed as their bottoms had given way.
A second batch was rolled out for the Hungry Ghost Festival. They have already turned brown, and some heavily used ones are almost blackened. At this rate, new ones will have to be installed for next year's Chinese New Year.
The burners' short lifespan does not seem to justify the high cost of $200 each, compared with the old drum-type burners.
In fact, the old burners are more environmentally friendly, as they are fabricated from recycled 48-gallon (about 200 litres) drums. A few people can also use such burners at the same time.
Perhaps we can look into ways of modifying this burner further, such as providing a raised cover to trap loose incense paper and ash. More holes can be provided at the bottom to increase combustion.
Town councils can also look into building concrete burners, like those in temples but smaller versions. Walls can be built around them and the area landscaped to make them less obtrusive.
Soh Ah Yuen