The Singapore Government Says: No Littering
Singapore is like Hong Kong in some ways. In particular, they don’t have a lot of space for expansion – or for garbage.
But the government of Singapore is finding it difficult to keep its citizens from littering. Below is a photo actually taken in Singapore.
They’ve tried anti-littering campaigns and fines, but neither has worked even though the fines can be pretty stiff – up to S$1,000 (US$705) the first time you’re caught and S$5,000 (US$3,530) for a second offense.
Perhaps Singapore could learn from the methods used in Japan and Taiwan, where dustbins were actually removed. That sounds crazy, doesn’t it?
You’d think that if there’s no dustbin in sight, a Singaporean would be more rather than less likely to throw trash on the sidewalk or street. But in Taipei, removing dustbins was part of their clean-up campaign.
While Singapore currently has one dustbin for every 540 citizens, Taipei has one for every 1,300 citizens. And Taiwan went from being an island filled with trash to being one of Asia’s cleanest countries in less than 20 years. Taking away the dustbins worked.
In Japan, both kids and adults carry plastic bags with them to put rubbish in. They carry the rubbish-filled bag with them until they go home.
According to chairman of Singapore’s Public Hygiene Council Edward D’Silva, Singaporeans have grown complacent about trash and believe the cleaner isn’t doing a proper job if the street isn’t clean. They take cleaners for granted.
Both Taiwan and Japan have found ways to have less trash on the streets. It will take a long time, but perhaps Singapore can take part of each approach in order to devise their own unique style of ensuring that their island is clean.