Cleaning up after New Year celebrations

Many said they brought spare plastic bags to clear their own litter. However, not everyone felt the same way, with litter still spotted after celebrations.
Liyana Othman Channel NewsAsia 2 Jan 16;

SINGAPORE: After New Year celebrations ended and the crowds dispersed, work began to clean up the mess left behind.

Some revellers attended the celebrations with home-cooked food, while others came with snacks and burgers from fast food joints.

In the days leading up to the New Year celebrations, the National Environment Agency had put up several Facebook posts reminding the public to do their part to keep the country clean. It seems like the message has resonated with many.

Many said they brought spare plastic bags to clear their own litter. Others pointed to nearby bins and said that they would definitely clean up after themselves when they were done as it was “our duty”.

However, not everyone felt the same way, with litter still spotted after celebrations.

Littering has been a persistent problem in Singapore.

In January last year, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong lamented on the amount of rubbish left behind by those who attended the Laneway Festival held at Gardens by the Bay.

- CNA/ek

Welcoming 2016 in Singapore: Celebrations in town, heartland
AsiaOne 2 Jan 16;

The rain could not keep Singaporeans away as they turned out in full force at countdown parties around the island to ring in the new year.

In true Singaporean fashion, partygoers eager to snag the best spots had camped out from Thursday afternoon at Merlion Park, across Marina Bay's new Jubilee Bridge, and in the heartland in Bedok, Sengkang and Woodlands, despite persistent showers that came and went throughout the afternoon.

An estimated 300,000 poncho-clad and umbrella-toting revellers at the Marina Bay countdown party were rewarded when the overcast sky cleared up for a spectacular firework display at midnight that lasted about eight minutes.

Photography enthusiast Francis Chia, who had set up his camera there since 3pm, said: "It's a special occasion today and it marks the end of our Golden Jubilee year."

As the clock struck midnight, sprays of gold, red and green lit up the night sky above the Fullerton Hotel and the Marina Bay Sands to loud booms that could be heard as far away as Orchard Road.

At the Marina Bay floating platform, more than 10,000 people were treated to a mini Adam Lambert concert at a ticketed countdown party.

The singer and his band surprised many in the audience when they played on for another 40 minutes after the firework display and the live telecast ended.

The mood was no less euphoric in the heartland.

Over at Sengkang Riverside Park, about 5,000 residents of Ang Mo Kio and Sengkang ushered in the new year with Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, who stole the show from an Elvis Presley impersonator when he arrived at 11pm.

In the final hour of 2015, the participants set a new Singapore record, using 1,600 light sticks to complete a formation of the word "Love".

Mr Lee, who was mobbed by residents eager to have their picture taken with him, said: "I wish everybody a very happy 2016: good health, prosperity, peace and happiness within your family."

At the Countdown @ North party in Woodlands, residents were on their feet for a zumba workout and entertained by local celebrities such as singer Sufie Rashid. Some 8,000 people were at the event, capped by a 10-minute firework display.

Over at Bedok, families shared an intimate celebration as they bonded over nostalgic carnival activities and were treated to variety performances throughout the evening.

As partygoers dispersed just after midnight at Marina Bay, some 300 cleaners sprang into action to clear empty drink bottles, cigarette butts and other litter strewn across the ground.

While some 350 bins were placed in the area, they were inaccessible at times due to the crowd control barricades, said Chye Thiam Maintenance's cleaning supervisor, Mr Gavaskar. "They said: 'No choice.' So they just threw their rubbish on the floor," he added.

However, student David Kwok, 23, was among those seen cleaning up after themselves. "It's only right to pick up your own trash. It isn't a lot of effort if we all do it, and it will definitely help the cleaners."

It took a total of seven hours to clean up the entire area, with about 30,000kg of rubbish collected, according to a spokesman for the Marina Bay Singapore Countdown.

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