Clogged Chute Causes Rubbish To Pile Up To 3rd Floor,  MP Says Cleaning Contractor Facing Manpower Shortage

Most Singaporeans who live in HDB estates – that’s more than 80% – take for granted that our Town Councils will take care of their general maintenance.

That includes cleaning up of public areas.

However, our estate cleaners can only do so much. If residents are inconsiderate, they’ll have to do unnecessary work – meaning less time for them to do general cleaning.

For example, laundry poles were found lodged in a rubbish chute in Tampines, causing it to clog and rubbish to pile up.

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Tampines North MP Baey Yam Keng has urged residents to be considerate.

Cleaners had to climb inside chute to dislodge poles

Mr Baey shared the photo of the clogged chute on Facebook on Friday (28 May), saying the stuck poles caused the rubbish to pile up to the 3rd floor.

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To clear the chute, cleaners had to climb inside to dislodge the poles and clear the rubbish.

Clearly dismayed, the MP said it was “extra and unnecessary work” for the cleaners.

He also urged residents to spare a thought for others.

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Obviously, laundry poles aren’t meant to be thrown inside rubbish chutes.

Whoever did this could’ve just stopped to think, and they’d have realised that they’ll clog up the chute and cause problems for the entire block.

MP asks residents not to litter

In his Facebook post, Mr Baey also appealed to residents to refrain from littering, sharing some photos of unsightly scenes in the neighbourhood.

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Though estates hire cleaners, keeping public areas clean is a shared responsibility, he added.

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Thus, every Tampines resident can pitch in to make the estate cleaner.

Cleaning crew strength down by 60%

Mr Baey also revealed that residents need to cooperate as Tampines North’s cleaning crew strength is down by 60%.

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As we know, Singapore is hugely dependent on migrant workers for labour.

However, Singapore has temporarily stopped accepting entry applications from workers coming from higher-risk countries.

Thus, as most of their cleaners are migrant workers from these countries, the cleaning contractor has a “severe manpower shortage and operational challenges”.

Situation compounded by increasing amount of rubbish

The remaining 40% of cleaning staff are doing their best to clean up after residents.

That would be a difficult task itself, but it’s made even harder as there’s an increasing amount of rubbish.

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The MP attributed it to more people staying at home and discarding packaging from food and online deliveries.

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Thus, the smaller team of cleaners need to work harder, on top of disinfecting areas to ward off Covid-19.

He sought residents’ understanding if there’re any lapses in cleaning due to the manpower shortage coupled with extra workload.

Culprits can be tracked down via mail

In an Instagram post earlier this month, Mr Baey also issued a warning to residents who dispose of trash indiscriminately.

If they think they can get away, the Town Council will try to track them down.

They can do this by searching for address labels on discarded mail.

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Offenders who throw away delivery boxes irresponsibly can be exposed from address labels too.

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The Town Council has already issued summonses to wrongdoers, Mr Baey said.

Singapore is a cleaned country

While Singapore is known to be a clean country, it’s actually more accurate to say that it’s a cleaned country.

Many of us generally don’t care to upkeep common areas, and leave it to our army of migrant worker cleaners to do so.

Now that manpower is tight, perhaps we should be more responsible for the cleanliness of our own estates – or at the very least, don’t make cleaning them harder by being inconsiderate.

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Featured image adapted from Facebook and Facebook.