Monday, November 19, 2012

A simple way to discourage Littering in Singapore

November is traditionally the month when Singapore launches the Clean & Green Singapore event and over the recent weekends, there has been a flurry of Clean & Green campaigns all over Singapore.

This year, the theme of Clean & Green Singapore campaigns seem to be on discouraging littering in view of the persistent littering problem Singapore has despite years of education and reinforcement. In fact, littering has become all the more evident and pronounced in recent years. All Thanks to our armies of cleaners, Singapore is still able to present itself as a clean city to the world despite the phenomenal trend of littering here.

In order to curb the increasing trend of littering, extensive surveys have been conducted, inter-disciplinary committees formed and academics rolled in to discuss, examine and analyze the psychological reasons of littering by Singaporeans. More hefty fines and more intense shaming measures have also been suggested. While the above are applaudable measures, I feel that they are only intensification of efforts which in their fundamentals are not effective as proven in all the years of Singapore’s anti-littering campaign.

I really believe that a very simple approach for the authorities to reduce littering in Singapore is simply to increase the number of litterbins here in Singapore! From my own personal experiences, every time I need to dispose of something in the public, it is a challenge for me to locate a dustbin to bin my litter. I need to walk for quite some distance to throw my litter into the dustbin, however I believe there are thousands of Singaporeans out there who do not have this patience in this time-crunched, instant-gratification society to walk that few extra steps to bin their litter. What’s more, sometimes there are no litter bins in sight, e.g. on MRT platforms etc.

I have noted that after the 9-11 incident, the number of litterbins in Singapore has reduced quite significantly. I am not sure whether I am correct in my above observation but from what I have observed, litterbins are become a scarcity here in Singapore. I would like to urge the authorities to increase the number of litterbins and one can then see reduced littering.

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