Saving 15,000 trees - via recyclables

Residents of South West District swopping their recyclables for groceries or vouchers at Chua Chu Kang Community Club yesterday. The annual Clean Up South West! is in its 15th iteration this year.
Residents of South West District swopping their recyclables for groceries or vouchers at Chua Chu Kang Community Club yesterday. The annual Clean Up South West! is in its 15th iteration this year.PHOTO: LIANHE ZAOBAO

Over 4,600kg collected by South West District yesterday - adding up to 885 tonnes over the years

A large-scale recycling drive was conducted yesterday in Singapore's South West District in a bid to collect recyclable material during the pre-Chinese New Year spring-cleaning season.

From 8.30am to noon, residents took their recyclables to the Chua Chu Kang Community Club, where they exchanged their trash for groceries or vouchers.

Electronic waste was exchanged for Challenger vouchers, while clothes and waste paper were swopped for groceries like white rice and instant noodles.

The annual Clean Up South West! is in its 15th iteration this year, with the number of collection points at schools, community centres and other locations growing from 47 to 54, making it easier for residents to turn in their trash for recycling. At Chua Chu Kang Community Club alone, 4,636kg of recyclable material was collected.

The recycling drive took place in conjunction with the first of 10 Sustainable South West Roadshows, which raised awareness of environmental issues while introducing residents to hands-on recycling activities and sustainable zero-waste living.

The other nine roadshows will be held this year and will reach out to around 20,000 people who live and work in the South West District. The district includes large residential areas like Choa Chu Kang, Jurong, Bukit Batok and West Coast, among others.

These initiatives are part of Sustainable South West, a masterplan for the next 10 years that aims to guide the district's eco-initiatives.

The plan was launched last November, and has goals similar to a zero-waste masterplan for Nee Soon GRC that was launched in April last year. Areas of focus include plastic and single-use items, paper, carbon emissions, e-waste and food waste.

"Over the years, we have collected 885 tonnes of recyclables from the district ... and (this) has helped us save more than 15,000 trees," said Ms Low Yen Ling, Mayor of the South West District.

Ms Low added that last year alone, 3,500kg of electronic waste was collected from more than 15 collection points in the district - equivalent to the weight of over 23,000 smartphones.

She said that for more than a decade, the South West Community Development Council (CDC) has promoted sustainability in the district.

 
 

"Today, it's more urgent than before to push back climate change and protect our environment," she added.

"However, the CDC can't do this alone. Instead, everyone - from the young to the old - and every organisation or company, whether big or small, plays a crucial part in protecting our homes and environment with sustainable practices and eco-friendly habits."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on January 20, 2020, with the headline 'Saving 15,000 trees - via recyclables'. Print Edition | Subscribe