Singapore

South West residents trade trash for groceries, vouchers

A large-scale recycling drive was conducted yesterday in Singapore's South West District in a bid to collect recyclable material during the Chinese New Year spring cleaning season.

From 8.30am to noon, residents took their recyclables to the Chua Chu Kang Community Club, where they exchanged their trash for groceries. Electronic waste was exchanged for Challenger vouchers, while clothes and waste paper were swopped for groceries such as white rice and instant noodles.

The annual Clean Up South West! is in its 15th iteration this year, with the number of collection points at schools, community centres and other locations growing from 47 to 54, making it easier for residents to turn in their trash for recycling.

At Chua Chu Kang Community Club, a total of 4,636kg of recyclables was collected.

The recycling drive yesterday took place in conjunction with the first of 10 Sustainable South West (SSW) Roadshows, which raised awareness of environmental issues while introducing residents to hands-on recycling activities and sustainable zero-waste living.

The other nine roadshows will be held the next year and will reach out to around 20,000 people who live and work in the South West District. The district includes large residential areas such as Choa Chu Kang, Jurong, Bukit Batok and West Coast, among others.

These initiatives are part of SSW, a master plan for the next 10 years that aims to guide the district's eco-initiatives.

TONNES

"Over the years, we have collected 885 tonnes of recyclables from the district. This is equivalent to nine Olympic-sized swimming pools and has helped us save more than 15,000 trees," said South West District Mayor Low Yen Ling.

Ms Low added that last year, 3,500kg of electronic waste was collected from more than 15 collection points in the district - equivalent to the weight of more than 23,000 smartphones.

She said that for more than a decade, the South West Community Development Council has promoted sustainability in the district.

"Today, it's more urgent than before to push back climate change and protect our environment," she added.

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