Ang Mo Kio residents, GRC advisers band together for clean-up and litter-picking activities

In support of the nationwide SG Clean Day organised by the Public Hygiene Council (PHC), Ang Mo Kio Town Council (AMKTC) conducted small scale community clean-up activities in the estate on Sunday morning (April 25).

Advisers from Ang Mo Kio GRC, Yio Chu Kang SMC, and Kebun Baru SMC - together with some 190 residents - carried out litter-picking activities, sweeping and mopping the floors of the common areas at the public housing estates across more than 20 locations in Ang Mo Kio Town.

In groups of no more than eight, participants were given tongs, trash bags, brooms and mops.

The town council shared in a media release: "Keeping our estates clean and litter-free is not just about one campaign. By creating small scale community clean-up activities, we can sustain the awareness and create a sense of ownership among residents.

"We have come a long way and hope to continue to nurture responsible behaviour among the residents. One way is to get the community involved in litter picks."

Starting from May this year, AMKTC will be having more than 20 litter-picking activities over a period of one year.

The town council will work closely with residents, schools, and PHC to create small scale community clean-up activities, in an effort to foster a greater sense of shared responsibility.

"Together, we can build and maintain clean, green, and liveable shared spaces," AMKTC added.

Mr Ang Boon Peng, AMKTC's general manager, said: "Covid-19 pandemic has spurred transformation in how organisations operate.

"The shortage of manpower during Covid-19 posed great operational challenges to AMKTC in our delivery of essential services to the residents.

"We were thankful that residents were understanding of the situation as we maintain and upkeep the environment in a liveable state with the minimum number of workers.

"With this campaign and our upcoming litter-picking initiatives, we will continue to instill a sense of civic responsibility, and a desire to promote gracious living within our town.

"We also want to thank the cleaners for their relentless efforts and staying at the forefront since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic, making sure that the estates in Singapore are kept clean and liveable."

SG Clean Day is currently observed once a year. Town councils cease public sweeping at open areas and ground levels of housing estates for a day, with the aim of showing how much litter there will be without cleaners to remove them.

According to The Straits Times, PHC is holding talks with town councils to step up the frequency of the initiative to once every quarter this year, and eventually, once every month by 2022.

PHC chairman Edward D'Silva said that despite years of public education, bad habits such as littering, not returning trays after a meal, and dirtying public toilets, are still prevalent.

The biggest challenge is trying to change the mindsets of people, as there are still some who think that cleaning up after themselves is not their job, he added.

And while personal hygiene has improved during the Covid-19 pandemic, partly due to compulsory measures, public hygiene has not.

View more photos of Sunday's event in the gallery.