New public awareness programme in 12 constituencies in push towards cleaner Singapore

The Public Hygiene Council will be launching the Sustainable Bright Spot programme next month to encourage members of the public to clean their community areas.
The Public Hygiene Council will be launching the Sustainable Bright Spot programme next month to encourage members of the public to clean their community areas.PHOTO: LIANHE ZAOBAO

SINGAPORE - A new initiative to encourage members of the public to clean their community areas will begin next month.

Organised by the Public Hygiene Council, the Sustainable Bright Spot programme will be launched in stages across 12 constituencies.

It was one of three fresh efforts announced on Sunday (April 28) by Minister for the Environment and Water Resources Masagos Zulkifli.

"The Sustainable Bright Spots programme is aimed at encouraging residents to keep their housing estates clean," said Mr Masagos.

"The hard truth is that many of us are still too dependent on an army of 58,000 workers who clean up our housing estates, roads, public walkways and waterways every day."

Awareness campaigns and activities will be implemented in estates to encourage people not to drop litter and dispose of waste properly.

"It is important that we continue to build a culture of reducing our waste, cleaning up after ourselves, and binning our litter properly," Mr Masagos added.

Twelve residents networks in estates across Singapore have committed to be part of this programme.

"We hope to reinforce the message that everyone needs to take personal responsibility for keeping our shared community spaces clean," said Mr Masagos.

On top of this, the Public Hygiene Council will work with organisations, residential estates and communities to hold a "CleanSG Day" in the May at their premises, when people all over Singapore will be cleaners for a day.

While the real cleaners take a day off to rest, local residents, along with employees and patrons of 134 McDonalds outlets, 10 parks and three Kopitiam outlets, will get to work cleaning up after meals or disposing of rubbish in common areas.

The third effort to be made this year by the Public Hygiene Council will be to establish a network of interest groups to not only reduce waste in 2019, which has been designated the Year Towards Zero Waste, but also to make Singapore cleaner and greener than before.

This network is named R.I.S.E. - an acronym for the words reach, inspire, synergise, and empower.

The network now comprises 24 non-governmental organisations, student eco groups, uniform groups and public agencies.

These environmental, social welfare and educational groups, with the support of the National Environment Agency and the National Parks Board, will work together to conduct clean-up activities across the island.

Public Hygiene Council chairman Mr Edward D'Silva told The Straits Times that the network would provide a platform for these agencies to join forces, to not only reduce waste but keep Singapore clean.

"Some of them are passionate about zero waste, or recycling, but do not have a platform to promote their activities. Through our conduits and channels of communication, they can publicise their causes and have a greater effect," said Mr D'Silva, adding that he hoped to have more NGOs come on board.

The R.I.S.E. network will also collect data on waste and litter, to map out littering hotspots, major problem areas, as well as the cleanest areas in Singapore.

"This will contribute to us knowing more about where we can best come in and help, and what more we can about waste management in Singapore," Mr D'Silva added.