SG Clean Day set to become more frequent
More will be done to get Singaporeans to take charge of cleanliness in public spaces, with plans to expand a nationwide initiative to encourage residents to pick up after themselves.
The SG Clean Day initiative is currently observed once a year. Town councils cease public sweeping at open areas and ground levels in housing estates for a day, with the aim of showing the amount of litter there would be without cleaners to sweep it away.
The Public Hygiene Council (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 next year.
PHC chairman Edward D'Silva announced this yesterday in conjunction with the launch of the council's annual month-long Keep Clean, Singapore! campaign.
Speaking at the launch, Minister for Sustainability and the Environment Grace Fu said everyone plays a critical role in fortifying Singapore's defence against public health threats.
"As we have learnt from this Covid-19 pandemic, the first line of defence is cleanliness and hygiene of our public spaces. This is so essential for each and every one of us to take up this responsibility because we have to also keep our cleaners safe," said Ms Fu, adding she was heartened to note that more than 30,000 places have achieved the SG Clean Quality Mark since February last year.
It is given to organisations and businesses across specific sectors as a certification of sanitation and hygiene standards.
The PHC will be taking over the certification of premises from the National Environment Agency later this year.
Urging the public to properly dispose of used tissues and masks, Ms Fu said: "If we do not do the right thing of protecting (the cleaners) for them to protect us, because they are keeping our environment clean, our defence against public health threats will be weakened."
Yesterday was also the first SG Clean Day of this year.
For the first time, it involved all 17 town councils. PHC said there are plans to make this permanent, as town councils previously participated on an ad-hoc basis.
Mr D'Silva said that despite years of public education, bad habits, such as littering, not returning trays after a meal and dirtying public toilets remain.
He said the biggest challenge is to change the mindsets of people, as there are still some who think that cleaning up after themselves is not their job.
He also said that while personal hygiene has improved during the pandemic, partly from the compulsory measures, public hygiene has not.
Mr D'Silva said: "Doing (SG Clean Day) nationwide and frequently may sound onerous, but it is only when we do it often that it will become a way of life."