Choa Chu Kang residents toss up ideas on green initiatives for their town

(From left) Chua Chu Kang GRC MP Don Wee, Senior Minister of State Amy Khor, Ngee Ann Polytechnic principal Lim Kok Kiang, Minister of State Low Yen Ling and Chua Chu Kang GRC MP Zhulkarnain Abdul Rahim. ST PHOTO: MARK CHEONG

SINGAPORE - Composting food waste in hawker centres, developing an app to calculate individual carbon footprints, and planting trees together as a community.

These were some ideas suggested by Choa Chu Kang residents during a partially virtual discussion on eco-projects, called HaCCKathon, on Saturday morning (Oct 2).

Some 80 participants tuned in to discuss environmental initiatives they hope to see and launch in Choa Chu Kang town.

One of the participants, Mr Brian Seah, 35, told The Straits Times that he tuned in to discuss how to better connect cycling tracks in his neighbourhood.

"I believe that all our actions have consequences and impact, from small to great, and it's so essential to continually play a part in it - starting from figuring how we can reduce carbon footprint, or encouraging zero waste, to creating opportunities and actions to do so," said the technical coordinator.

The HaCCKathon was organised by the Chua Chu Kang GRC and Hong Kah North SMC Eco Town Taskforce, which includes residents, grassroots leaders, environmental advocates and educational institutions.

The session was attended by the four MPs for the Chua Chu Kang group representation constituency - Minister of Trade and Industry Gan Kim Yong; Minister of State for Culture, Community and Youth and Trade and Industry Low Yen Ling; Mr Don Wee; and Mr Zhulkarnain Abdul Rahim - and Senior Minister of State for Transport and Sustainability and the Environment Amy Khor, who is MP for Hong Kah North.

Ms Low, who is also Mayor of the South West District, told the media: "We wanted a platform to harness the ideas, the creativity and the passion of our residents in sustainability."

Representatives from Sembcorp Industries, waste management company Alba WH Smart City and Ngee Ann Polytechnic, among others, weighed in on the participants' presentations.

Dr Khor said residents can apply for funding for their initiatives through government grants like the SG Eco Fund.

She added that some proposed initiatives could even be rolled out in other parts of Singapore.

"If there are good ideas... we are actually going to accumulate it and share it with other constituencies and other towns so that they can learn from this," she said.

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