Holland-Bukit Panjang Town Council becoming eco-friendly
LED light bulbs, solar panels, recycling bins, gardens for residents in Holland-Bukit Panjang Town Council sustainability report
Ms Lisel Lee, a social work coordinator, collects rainwater for her plants.
The Bukit Panjang resident repurposes plastic bottles as plant holders and also uses her own fabric bags for supermarket trips to reduce plastic usage.
The 62-year-old credits initiatives taken by her town council for helping turn her into an eco-friendly resident.
Yesterday, the Holland-Bukit Panjang Town Council released its inaugural sustainability report, the first to do so among the 16 town councils in Singapore.
The report details what Holland-Bukit Panjang Town Council has done over the years to become environmentally friendly.
Sustainability efforts began in 1999, said Dr Teo Ho Pin, chairman of the town council and Member of Parliament (MP) for Bukit Panjang.
In 2000, there were no energy-saving LED light bulbs or recycling bins. There was only one multi-storey carpark with solar panels and only a few gardens for residents.
Today, more than 93,000 light bulbs have been replaced with LED lights over the span of 441 blocks, and more than 120 solar photovoltaic panels have been installed. The area also has 37 community gardens with as many as 667 resident-gardeners.
Dr Teo said: "It is a space for residents to come together, bond and share their experiences as they grow vegetables together."
He added that the goal is to build a sustainable town while creating a high-quality living standard for residents.
To encourage residents to recycle, every block under Holland-Bukit Panjang Town Council has a recycling bin. There are also recycling bins at Residents' Committees, with volunteers available to teach residents how to recycle. They also go door-to-door to meet residents.
Dr Teo said: "Sometimes, people are not sure what can be recycled or how to segregate their recycled materials. The blue bins around the blocks can have quite high levels of contamination because people put in different materials."
One area where he hopes to see improvement is in the recycling of electronic waste.
He said: "We definitely need to do more outreach and education. There are so many different types of electronic waste and it is something we are still exploring."
Residents believe the town council's sustainability efforts are paying off.
Mr Ryan Tan, 23, an undergraduate, said: "Recycling bins are placed at a convenient distance from our block so we can recycle frequently. In my home, we also reduced the flow of the main tap to save water and use electricity-saving appliances. Public initiatives do increase awareness."