S’poreans can now pick rubbish in parks for fun anytime using free tools available there
It is, after all, 'Cleaned & Green' Singapore.
Singaporeans who spent a few seconds tsk-tsking under their breaths after reading about a cleaner here having to scrape candle wax off the pavement after Hungry Ghost Festival, here is your chance to shine.
Now, do your part
You must head on down to Bishan-AMK Park, East Coast Park & Pasir Ris Park now and do your part to clean the parks to keep them clean and green.
Four storage rooms there have been equipped with litter-picking tools and are set up such that anyone can voluntarily and conveniently pick up litter for fun and leisure — a la Corrective Work Order, but without the stigma.
Known as CleanPods, these rooms were set up as part of a joint collaboration between the Public Hygiene Council (PHC) and the National Parks Board (NParks).
It is to encourage people to “conduct cleanups in a more convenient, sustainable and efficient manner”.
Out of their kind, altruistic hearts, regardless of whether you are CMIO.
Storing reusable tools to reduce waste
The CleanPods resemble storage sheds and are decorated in graffiti and slogans:
You can find reusable buckets instead of single-use trash bags to contain the litter picked up, as well as tongs, weighing scales and garden carts.
Schools, private and non-governmental organisations who plan beach cleanups can share and use these tools as and when they wish, as long as they’re available for use.
This hopefully discourages people from buying new items for organised cleanups that they might end up being discarded afterward.
The CleanPods are also conveniently located near washing points, toilets and trash collection points.
There are also plans to include gardening tools inside the pods in the future.
The pods are to encourage Singaporeans to pick up their tools and take ownership of their environment.
More trash but more cleanups too
Currently, two CleanPods have been placed at East Coast Park, while one has been placed at Bishan-Ang Mo Kio Park and Pasir Ris Park respectively.
The parks were specifically chosen based on the demand for existing litter cleanups, and the demand for tools and materials to support such activities.
Three more will be set up by the end of the year at Changi Beach Park and East Coast Park, with more to come by next year.
As Singapore’s waste problem swells, more volunteer groups have thankfully been coming forward to organise their own beach cleanups.
According to the National Environment Agency, an average of over 700 beach cleanups were conducted annually between 2016 and 2018.
Top photo courtesy of PHC and NParks