In a first, pre-schoolers to take part in annual recycling drive

TAN WEIZHEN Today Online 9 Jan 17;

Singapore — Some pre-schoolers in the South West District will now be taught how to identify recyclable trash and even to sort it.

This is part of the annual recycling drive organised by the South West Community Development Council and the National Environment Agency (South West Regional Office), to encourage residents to recycle items, which can then be exchanged for groceries.

For the first time, 360 children from two pre-schools, NTUC’s My First Skool in Kang Ching and in Yung An, are involved in this drive.

The organisers also hope to rope in more pre-schools in the district in future to participate in this drive, known as Clean Up South West!

From Jan 3 to Jan 26, the children will start identifying and collecting their families’ recyclables, and bringing them to collection points at their pre-schools.

At the end of this period, they will be involved in sorting out and weighing the recyclable items, with their teachers guiding them.

When the exercise ends, the items will be redeemed for groceries, which will go to needy residents in the area.

“When good habits form in childhood, they can stay with us for a lifetime,” said South West District Mayor and Member of Parliament (Chua Chu Kang) Low Yen Ling.

“When we have our pre-schoolers start recycling at a very young age, we’re also nurturing in them a keen sense of the need to take care of the environment. At the same time, we’re teaching them the importance of looking after people who are less privileged.”

My First Skool (Kang Ching) principal Rita Lim added: “We’ve always been teaching the children how to recycle, but now they have the opportunity to practise what they’ve learnt in a community setting.”

The drive is now into its 12th year, and Ms Low noted that there has been more awareness of recycling among residents. In 2006, when the drive was launched, 14 tonnes of paper and 19 tonnes of clothing were collected.

A decade later, this has jumped to 81.3 tonnes of paper and 32.2 tonnes of clothing. In all, from 2006 to last year, 737.5 tonnes of recyclable items were collected, according to statistics from South West CDC.

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