SINGAPORE – Several MPs urge residents to do their part as a labor shortage has left areas with fewer cleaners, even as more waste is generated as more people spend most of their time at home.
It comes as some migrant workers have returned home, but it is difficult to find replacements due to tighter border controls here.
At the same time, more waste is generated, such as food delivery packages and online shopping.
“I know most of the residents are law-abiding and considerate, but for the few black sheep in the community, I hope they will be reminded to do their part and keep the grounds clean,” said the MP for Tampines GRC Baey Yam Keng at the Straits Times on Saturday. (May 29).
In a Facebook post on Friday, he said about 60% of migrant workers at the new Tampines North cleaning company could not enter Singapore to start work.
“The cleaning contractor is therefore facing a serious labor shortage and operational challenges,” he said, adding that the new contractor took over on April 1.
He added that the remaining 40 percent of migrant cleaning staff are doing their best to keep the neighborhood common areas clean, even if they have to dispose of more trash than before.
There have also been more cases of improper waste disposal, Baey said.
In one incident, a resident living on the third floor complained that his garbage chute was overflowing.
When city council investigated, it found someone had thrown laundry poles into the chute, obstructing it, causing the trash to get stuck and piled up.
Mountbatten MP Lim Biow Chuan, who is also the chairman of the Marine Parade city council, said the workforce has been strained during this period with the increase in the volume of garbage.
He also highlighted the problems that could arise from indiscriminate littering. Litter such as food waste could attract vermin, while food containers could be water-collecting receptacles for mosquito breeding grounds. Garbage piled up in hallways can also pose a fire hazard, he said.
“Thrown away food, thrown away food wrappers and all of that attracts cockroaches, rats and other vermin, making the environment unsightly and unsanitary,” Lim said.
Although there has been no increase in dengue cases in his constituency, “you only need one case and you can get a lot of mosquitoes from one site”, a- he added.
The National Environment Agency (NEA) website said that on Friday there were three clusters of dengue fever, which refer to areas with 10 or more cases of dengue. They can be found on Rosewood Drive, Tuas South Boulevard and Cashew Terrace.
Bukit Panjang MP Liang Eng Hwa said labor issues are not just for cleaning contractors, but also for those doing maintenance, repair and horticulture work.
With more garbage to clean up, the frequency of garbage collection has increased, making it more work for the cleaners.
Mr. Liang said some waste hot spots have been identified and the NEA has been activated for monitoring and law enforcement.
“We are also looking at our own means of doing surveillance, such as mobile CCTV cameras to monitor hot spots,” he added.
Mr Lim said his city council was working with the NEA to strengthen the enforcement of litter at height.
“But there’s not much you can do with law enforcement. We hope our residents will do their part as well and take the cleaners for granted or we’ll never have a clean estate,” he said. he declares.
“We hope to send the message that garbage collection is something everyone has a responsibility to do.”
Mr. Kane Tan, a resident of Nee Soon East, said his estate was fairly clean, although he occasionally noticed litter and bulky waste.
The 45-year-old project manager added that garbage collection is everyone’s responsibility and there could be more education against litter and perhaps the use of technology to reduce household waste.
Mr Nicholas Makoto, 28, who lives in Shunfu, said he does not produce more waste except for a few more online delivery packages.
However, he is worried about trash being thrown out of windows as well as packages of food or drink cans and other items left around.
“Workers who essentially have to go off their route to pick up this stray waste – it just keeps them from doing their jobs smoothly besides giving them more work,” said Mr. Makoto, an independent broadcaster.
He added that authorities may be able to patrol more frequently to make up for the loss of labor from cleaning contractors and stop chronic litter.