SINGAPORE : Fewer people were caught littering on New Year's Eve compared to the previous year.
National Environment Agency (NEA) officers were on the prowl for litterbugs islandwide. At the end of their blitz on Friday night, 74 littering tickets were issued, down almost 40 per cent from last year's figure of 116.
During NEA's Orchard Road blitz, the first culprit nabbed turned out to be a tourist, who was let off with a warning.
Otherwise, first-time offenders could be fined S$300 for throwing items like sweet wrappers and cigarette butts. Larger items like food wrappers and drink cups warrant a higher penalty of S$1,000, plus a Corrective Work Order.
At the stroke of midnight at Orchard Road, people unleashed spray cans of foam and confetti everywhere. Cleaning companies were given the tight deadline of cleaning the area by Saturday morning.
The NEA said it does not generally take action against those who use party spray cans during festive periods, but asked that the items be disposed of properly.
At the end of the Orchard Road blitz, eight people were caught.
Teh Chun Siong, manager of operations at National Environment Agency, said: “Most people are taking more responsibility not to litter this year; they are continuing to keep the environment clean and green.
“NEA also worked with event organisers to put in more additional workers to keep the place clean and empty bins throughout the event.”
With more workers on shift on Friday night, cleaning contractors got busy right after the partying.
Alia Jiffry, public relations officer at Purechem Veolia Environmental Services, said: “(The items included) cans, bottles, tissue paper. But the most challenging for us are the planted areas, because our workers have to go there and dig up all the litter.”
By 6am, refuse collected in Orchard Road amounted to 2.8 tonnes, significantly less than the 3.7 tonnes collected last year.
Channel News Asia