Forum: Let me enjoy my morning walk without having to pick up rubbish

It is sad but true that Singapore remains a "cleaned city" rather than a truly clean city (Littering still a problem in Singapore, data shows, July 25).

For a few months now, I have developed the habit of picking up and disposing of trash during my daily walks at the neighbourhood park.

I pick up the same kind of litter as what users of the Stridy app have reported.

Cigarette butts (and empty cigarette cartons) top the list, followed by plastic drink packets, plastic bottles, aluminium cans and pieces of tissue paper.

The worst places are near bus stops and public carparks - it is not unusual to see litter strewn mere metres away from rubbish bins.

I applaud the efforts of the people behind Stridy and the many public-spirited individuals who volunteer for the cleanup exercises.

Here are a few other ideas:

  • Town councils could consider organising regular activities to get residents to clean up their neighbourhoods. They could award prizes to the cleanest neighbourhood each month. Schools could also encourage students to participate with their parents. These would provide great learning experiences for our next generation while also fostering neighbourliness among residents and pride in their living areas.
  • Signs about littering fines used to be plentiful in the past but are less conspicuous today. The National Environment Agency should step up enforcement and impose heavy penalties on repeat offenders.
  • The media could help by publicising cleanup operations as it did for the Stridy-organised cleanup at East Coast Park last month. Public figures and celebrities could also lend their influence to this cause by participating and sharing social media posts.

We need a multi-pronged effort to get the results we seek after limited success all these years.

I look forward to the day when I can enjoy the greenery during my morning walk without stooping every now and then to pick up litter.

Surely Singapore can reclaim its reputation as a clean and green paradise?

Francis Yeoh

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