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I am a Practitioner of 'The 7e Way of Leaders' where a Leader will Envision, Enable (ASK for TOP D), Empower, Execute, Energize, and Evolve grounded on ETHICS!

Sunday, October 11, 2015

Daily Lessons from Life 11 October 2015 - Bursting the Littering Habit!

"Reward people who catch litterbugs in action, MP Lee Bee Wah proposes - CNA 11 October 2015

SINGAPORE: While the rest of the neighbourhood in Nee Soon South is sleeping, about 120 volunteers were out early on Sunday morning (Oct 11). Armed with litter pickers and gloves, they sorted the garbage into bags for rubbish and recyclables.

Headed by Nee Soon South MP Lee Bee Wah, the ward is the first in Singapore to do this on a monthly basis.

The programme – called HABIT @ Nee Soon South (Hold on And Bin IT, make it a HABIT!) – started about three years ago, and organisers said they have seen a gradual decrease in the amount of litter collected. Meanwhile, the number of residents volunteering has also increased.

National Environment Agency (NEA) said it wants to replicate the monthly scheme in other parts of Singapore. It said representatives from Jurong and Queenstown have expressed an interest, and have attended Nee Soon's monthly litter picking programme to learn more.

However, Ms Lee said picking up litter is not enough. She is encouraging her residents to look out for those who litter habitually.

She also suggested to the authorities to reward people who catch litterbugs in action. For example, after a resident takes a video of someone littering, he submits the evidence to NEA, and he gets to earn half of the summons.

She said: "In Taiwan, every resident is an enforcement officer. They can video, they can take photo of the litterbug and submit to their NEA. And if there is successful prosecution, their NEA will give the resident who reported it half of the summons collected.

“My residents have given this suggestion and I thought it is a good one. So now I'm working with NEA, and we will try to pilot this in Nee Soon South in the near future."

Channel NewsAsia understands there are challenges in its implementation, as the legislation needs to be amended.

Said NEA chairman Liak Teng Lit: “So certainly having neighbours watching over the environment and watching over each other will be very helpful. For the good citizens, there is nothing to worry about. In fact, people will be filming you doing good things and praising you rather than reprimanding you.”

Ms Lee also launched a second recycling point in her ward, after a successful pilot. The scheme is being supported by the Tzu Chi Foundation.

Residents take their recyclables to the void deck at Block 873, Yishun Street 81. These items will be sorted, and taken to recycling centres. She said this will educate residents on what can and cannot be recycled. This could prevent uninformed residents from contaminating recycling bins with waste."

MP Lee Bee Wah is not my favourite MP. Still, credit must be given when it is due. Her, or her residents' suggestion of 'getting rewarded for catching litterbugs in action' may work provided:

1. this does not get into nasty 'witch hunting'! That it will be developed into 'most pains than gains' of sorting out 'is the evidence correct and properly recorded', 'my words vs. your words', etc. or even getting into nasty 'confrontation of the physical kinds' by 'irate and/or emotionally out-of-control litterbugs'!;

2. that it is JUST a transitional scheme as ULTIMATELY, with a highly educated citizenry, hopefully educated properly right from at home and through the primary system, kids who do not litter will grow into young and then mature adults, and parents, who WILL NOT litter at all! That MUST be the end game. In fact, if we can reach that state, I am sure we would have realised one of the unfulfilled wishes of our late ex-MM/SM/PM Lee Kuan Yew, that Singaporeans have gracefulness!!;

3. as for 'Recycling' efforts, DEFINITELY we will NEED more bins and EDUCATION to our residents on HOW TO dispose of rubbishes in a GREEN MANNER. Again, it can start in primary school and reverse the roles of the kids 'teaching' the adults at home HOW TO recycle PROPERLY! Every primary school students should be mobilized to blocks of HDB Flats to educate the residents on this. This must be followed up with the 'proper facilities' for the residents to dispose of their rubbishes in an environmentally friendly manner.

Bursting the littering habit and developing the 'green disposal' habit CAN BE DONE! One kid at a time. One adult at a time. One family at a time! One neighbourhood AT A TIME!!

Called me 'CRAzy'? So be it!! :-) 

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