Elevator Ethics: Tampines Residents Fed Up with Neighbors Turning Lifts into Dumping Grounds
Residents of Block 274 in Tampines Avenue 22 complain about fellow neighbours treating their common lift like a trash chute.
From littering empty food containers to discarding large pieces of furniture, the town council is prompted to step in to mitigate this issue.
(As my 11-year-old nephew puts it best in his oral exams, “this is such unethical behaviour”!)
Discarded Furniture Inconveniences Residents
According to Lianhe Zaobao, a resident named Li Fengyin highlighted instances on 17 and 20 November 2023 where someone discarded items like shelves and tables inside the lift.
Li Fengyin pointed out that this careless action rendered wheelchair-bound residents unable to use the lifts.
Another resident, Ms Tan, 65, recalled witnessing someone abandoning a table inside the lift, expressing surprise at such behaviour.
She questioned the lack of consideration for common courtesy, suggesting that if someone had already reached the lift, they could easily take the items down to the nearby garbage disposal area.
In response, the town council posted notices near the lift entrance at the ground floor, accompanied by CCTV images that captured the perpetrator in the middle of the action.
During a visit by reporters on Tuesday, 5 December 2023, it was observed that the notices posted near the lift entrance on the ground floor showed two CCTV images capturing a man carrying a large clothing rack and table into the lift.
The notices also request residents with information about the identified person to come forward.
Observations indicated that the notices were placed inside the lift and near the lift entrances on the eighth and seventh floors.
Most recently, the town council spokesperson stated that they had reviewed the CCTV footage and identified the suspect responsible for discarding large items.
They assured an active investigation to determine the person’s identity and pledged to take necessary enforcement actions.
For anyone living within Tampines GRC facing difficulties with clearing bulky refuse, the Tampines Town Council provides complimentary Bulky Items Removal Service and you are allowed to utilise this service once per month.
Not Just Furniture Discarded on lifts
Unfortunately, this is not an isolated incident that stops at just furniture.
When asked, a resident by the name of Mrs. Liu mentioned that she had encountered bags of trash in the same lift, particularly in the mornings.
She also noted instances of cardboard boxes inside the lift but hadn’t seen large items.
Furthermore, residents reported incidents of finished canned drinks being left on the lift handrails, along with scattered tissues and packaging paper, creating an unclean and unsanitary environment.
Residents pointed out that some people also litter around the lift lobby and the ground floor of the HDB block.
Ms Zheng, 48, revealed that despite a garbage collection point being less than a minute away from the lift, some residents still left their trash near the bicycle racks on the ground floor. Cleaning staff would then need to tidy up the area.
A resident on the fifth floor, Mr An, 62, mentioned that cardboard boxes are often left mysteriously discarded at their lift lobby, and assumed it was residents from the floors above dumping garbage on their level.
While sometimes he would dispose of the items himself, he considered such behaviour extremely discourteous.
Actions by Town Council Proven to be Effective
A cleaner, who preferred to remain anonymous, revealed that before the notices were posted, they had to rid the lift of trash daily.
Since the notices were posted two to three days ago, there has been a fortunately noticeable reduction in trash inside the lift, and large items have not been observed recently.
(Also, come on, some of our cleaners are older and weaker, if you can’t take the extra 20 steps to discard your empty cup of bubble tea and prefer to have ah gongs and ah mas do it for you, I don’t know what to say.)
Lifts are a shared space that requires collective responsibility to maintain safety and cleanliness for everyone.
It is essential for individuals to recognize the impact of their actions on the collective well-being and uphold standards that ensure the safety and comfort of all users.
After all, if we don’t want the nightmare that is cockroaches appearing and scaring the living daylights out of us in the confined space of a lift, keeping our HDB common areas clean would be the most important step, right?
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