After the New Year parties, the big clean-up begins

Loke Kok Fai Channel NewsAsia 1 Jan 17;

SINGAPORE: Way before a series of New Year countdown parties took place across Singapore on Saturday (Dec 31), the National Environment Agency (NEA) launched a Facebook campaign urging people to "party responsibly" and telling revellers to leave the aerosol foam at home.

It only takes a couple of seconds to empty a can, NEA said, but it takes an average of 300 cleaners over four hours to clean-up post-New Year's eve parties.

The reminders appeared to have done the trick, at least at Singapore's largest street countdown party. Even before the music stopped and thousands scattered, a contingent of 20 cleaners were deployed by organisers of Celebrate 2017: Countdown With Stars.

“We've been doing this for two years, so it was pretty well-planned. Whenever the crowd is away from a certain section, we clear that place first,” said Cleaning Express operations manager Alexander Jeyakumar. “So we were just waiting for the crowd to (disperse), so as soon as they left, we went in.”

The clean-up operation was so efficient, the bulk of the tidying up was done within 20 minutes of the final post-countdown song being played at Suntec City.

"Parties aren't usually cleaned up so soon after - it usually takes a day or two to finish,” said exchange student from China, Sam Su. “This one was especially fast."

Some noted that the crowd had chipped in as well. "We cleaned up by ourselves actually,” said MDIS student Taufiq Anwar. "It's really the initiative of everyone - not only the cleaners but the crew working behind-the-scenes," added Wilson Ng, who recently, graduated from Westwood Secondary School.

NEA had said New Year countdown parties generate an average of 35,000kg of waste each year, as it advised party goers to waste less, bin their litter, and recycle what they can.

- CNA/ly