Push for residents to clean up community areas

A skit being put up at the launch of the Public Hygiene Council's "Keep Clean, Singapore" campaign yesterday at Bedok Town Square.
A skit being put up at the launch of the Public Hygiene Council's "Keep Clean, Singapore" campaign yesterday at Bedok Town Square.PHOTO: LIANHE ZAOBAO

Scheme to kick off in stages across 12 estates as part of fresh efforts to keep country clean

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 estates.

It was one of three fresh efforts announced yesterday by Environment and Water Resources Minister Masagos Zulkifli to keep Singapore clean.

"The Sustainable Bright Spot programme is aimed at encouraging residents to keep their housing estates clean," he said. "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 litter and to 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 said.

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.

PERSONAL RESPONSIBILITY

It is important that we continue to build a culture of reducing our waste, cleaning up after ourselves and binning our litter properly... We hope to reinforce the message that everyone needs to take personal responsibility for keeping our shared community spaces clean.

ENVIRONMENT AND WATER RESOURCES MINISTER MASAGOS ZULKIFLI

 
 
 

On top of this, the Public Hygiene Council will work with organisations, residential estates and communities to hold a CleanSG Day next month 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 McDonald's 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 make Singapore cleaner and greener than before.

This network is named Rise - an acronym for the words "reach", "inspire", "synergise" and "empower".

The network now comprises 24 non-governmental organisations (NGOs), student eco groups, uniformed groups and public agencies. These environmental, social welfare and educational groups, with the support of the National Environment Agency and National Parks Board, will work together to conduct clean-up activities across the island.

Public Hygiene Council chairman Edward D'Silva told The Straits Times that the network will provide a platform for these agencies to join forces to not only reduce waste, but also 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," he said, adding that he hoped to have more NGOs come on board.

The Rise network will also collect data on waste and litter in order to map out littering hot spots, major problem areas and 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 do about waste management in Singapore," Mr D'Silva said.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on April 29, 2019, with the headline 'Push for residents to clean up community areas'. Print Edition | Subscribe