Far less litter left by NDP partygoers this year

Audrey Tan, Straits Times AsiaOne 29 Aug 16;

Many partygoers outside the National Stadium brought along their own trash bags, said a volunteer.

Singapore has earned a reputation for being a "cleaned" city well looked after by cleaners.

But during the National Day celebrations on Aug 9, revellers showed that they can pick up after themselves, too.

According to the Public Hygiene Council, which led clean-up efforts outside the National Stadium where the parade was held, partygoers left behind significantly less litter than last year.

Volunteers had brought with them about 3,000 trash bags to fill up with rubbish left behind by revellers.

But they ended up using fewer than 200 of them. In comparison, volunteers used about 1,000 bags during last year's clean-up.

"We observed that many members of the public brought along their own trash bags, and responsibly binned their own trash, before they left," said Ms Dinie Kartika, 25, a volunteer from the ITE College East Rotaract Club.

A total of 331 volunteers from organisations such as the ITE College East Rotaract Club, the Waterways Watch Society, and the Lions Club of Singapore Mandarin, took part in this year's clean-up efforts.

From about 6pm on Aug 9, they fanned out across three areas - Marina Promenade, Stadium Riverside Walk and Tanjong Rhu Promenade - where those without tickets to the National Day Parade (NDP) congregated.

There, volunteers mingled with people, distributed items such as hand-held fans, and reminded them to bag and bin their rubbish.

It seemed to help. Mr Seet Kok Heng, 49, a volunteer from the Lions Club of Singapore Mandarin, said the presence of the volunteers created an awareness among partygoers to keep the areas clean.

"I think it greatly helped to minimise the amount of trash after the event," said the director of an engineering firm.

Public Hygiene Council chairman Edward D'Silva said the council will continue to work with different stakeholders, including members of the public, to encourage people to keep public spaces clean during and after events.

He added: "This year's NDP clean-up efforts by the volunteers, as well as by the members of the public who helped to keep the spaces clean, are very encouraging. More could still be done for a truly clean Singapore."

Inside the National Stadium, where some 55,000 people partied away, about 15 tonnes of rubbish was collected, said the NDP organising committee.

Last year, cleaners picked up about 12 tonnes of rubbish from the Padang and The Float @ Marina Bay after the parade.

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