Yesterday, netizens were shocked to see the roof of a walkway shelter dirtied beyond belief.
Located at Blk 223 Ang Mo Kio Avenue 1, the roof had been shrouded with waste like used tissue paper and other unidentifiable objects.
These items didn’t magically appear there, of course. Inconsiderate residents around the area had been littering from their high-rise apartments.
But hey, it’s just one area of Ang Mo Kio that has this problem, right?
It turns out that Singapore may not be as “clean and green” as we think.
It’s Not Just AMK; Sembawang Town Council Increases Cleaning Frequency To Combat High-Rise Littering
Because the same damn thing is happening at Woodlands.
One frustrated resident spoke to Stomp about the high-rise littering problem people are facing in the vicinity of Block 786E Woodlands Drive 60.
The resident, Darren, claims that rubbish like tissue paper, cotton buds, and cigarettes butts can be seen on the ground of the block almost every day.
“This has been happening for many years at the same location.”
Darren has reported the issue to the authorities, but to no avail.
“I have reported the issue using the OneService app many times but the littering is still not resolved. I was told that staff have been deployed to be on standby but there has been no result so far.
“Perhaps we can have better technology to nab litterbugs rather than getting people to be on standby and monitor.”
And the most frustrating thing about this?
Darren believes that a single household is responsible for the litter.
Who the heck is so lazy that they can’t walk a few metres to their dustbins?
Reader: Have you met other humans?
Ok, good point. Actually, I’m surprised they’re not hurling big black bags full of rubbish out of their windows.
Town Council Responds
Speaking to Stomp, the Sembawang Town Council said it is aware of the high-rise littering issue in the area and has introduced measures to combat it.
“We have served advisory notices to the residents, and increased the sweeping frequency in that area”, they said.
“We will monitor the situation and act accordingly.”
That’s right. Because of a few thoughtless residents, these poor sweepers will have more cleaning to do. Good job, litterbugs!
The town council has also notified the National Environment Agency (NEA).
Why Is It So Difficult To Catch High-Rise Litterers?
You may remember the story of a 73-year-old delivery driver who was killed last year after he was struck in the head by a wine bottle thrown from a condominium unit.
The offender was caught in just 10 days.
But according to Dr Amy Khor, it could take 10 weeks to six months for the National Environment Agency (NEA) to do the same.
Because they simply don’t have the same resources.
The Senior Minister of State for the Environment and Water Resources explained in 2019 that this 10-week window is in place to ensure that its investigations are “thorough and accurate”, reported TODAYonline.
So, NEA officers will first have to gather evidence and verify feedback for four to 6 weeks, followed by a two-week notice period to interview the suspected litterbugs and flat owners.
They also have to conduct stakeouts and patrols to identify the offender, of course.
Thus, more clearly has to be done about this issue.
According to The New Paper, the employment of surveillance cameras has been shown to improve enforcement efforts, but that will take time to implement.
Report Litterbugs To Authorities
The NEA prioritizes litter cases based on severity, the type of litter, and the evidence available, said Dr Khor.
Since resources are limited, some cases will be prioritized over others. But this doesn’t mean that the authorities are turning a deaf ear to your complaints.
So, continue to report litterbugs to the authorities, as it’ll facilitate NEA’s investigation process.
As for those who take pleasure in throwing food waste and other disgusting items out their windows, you should be aware of the harsh penalties that await you.
According to The Straits Times, first-time offenders can be fined up to $2,000 for each offence, while recalcitrant offenders face fines of up to $10,000 or Corrective Work Order (CWO) in addition to, or in lieu of, a fine on conviction.
Please be a little considerate. No one wants to see your used tissue paper and wonder what it was really used for.
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