Written reply to Parliamentary Question on Littering by Ms Grace Fu, Minister for Sustainability and the Environment
Written Reply by Ms Grace Fu, Minister for Sustainability and the Environment, to Parliamentary Question on Littering, on 14 October 2020
Mr Murali Pillai: To ask the Minister for Sustainability and the Environment (a) how many cases of littering have been reported to NEA for each of the past three years; (b) how many persons have NEA taken action against for littering in each of the past three years; (c) what are the main difficulties that NEA faces in addressing the littering problem; and (d) whether NEA is considering any step to instil a stronger ethos of keeping Singapore’s environment clean.
In 2017, 2018 and 2019, the National Environment Agency (NEA) received about 8,800, 8,100 and 11,200 instances of littering feedback from the public. Over the same periods, it took enforcement action against some 31,000, 37,000 and 26,900 offenders respectively. Since 2019, NEA has adopted various approaches with a focus on deterring potential offenders by increasing enforcement presence in hotspots and deploying more uniformed enforcement officers to increase visibility.
NEA takes a firm stance against litterbugs and will continue to step up enforcement action against littering, with the help of technology. The use of predictive data analytics, and the adoption of camera surveillance and video analytics, have augmented NEA’s enforcement efforts. In addition to more visible presence of enforcement officers, NEA is also working to enhance deterrence through the display of posters and banners which highlight the penalties for littering.
Notwithstanding these enforcement efforts, the bigger challenge is to foster a culture of collective action and social responsibility in keeping Singapore clean. NEA engages various stakeholders in the community, including residents, community leaders, Town Councils, schools and other organisations to promote community ownership in keeping public spaces clean. Our community partners conduct activities such as litter-picking brisk walks, beach and park clean-up exercises, and cleaner appreciation days.
For example, the Public Hygiene Council (PHC) introduced the Sustainable Bright Spot programme in 2019 at 11 Residents’ Committee zones and one constituency. Through this, residents take ownership of the cleanliness of community spaces and are involved in regular awareness programmes, litter-picking and other outreach activities. PHC plans to bring on board another 10 constituencies into the Sustainable Bright Spot programme in 2020.
All of us must play our part to keep Singapore a clean, green, and sustainable home. This includes demonstrating greater social responsibility by not littering. We will then achieve our aim of building Singapore into a gracious society.