SINGAPORE: Residents in towns managed by the People’s Action Party (PAP) will be encouraged to adopt a zero waste lifestyle, through a cash-for-recycling programme and more paper recycling machines set up in their estate, the party announced on Saturday (Dec 4).
Under its Action for Green Towns (AGT) initiative, the party has set a target of deploying at least 78 paper recycling machines across its 15 towns by the end of the month, in partnership with SGRecycle.
Residents will first have to scan a QR code on the machine to register, before depositing their items. They will get 6 cents per 1kg of paper or cardboard recycled. This will be stored in their digital wallets before being credited to their bank accounts.
When the COVID-19 situation improves, outreach programmes will be conducted to raise awareness of these machines among residents, PAP added in its press release.
All PAP town councils have also pledged to reduce paper use. For instance, by implementing electronic payments to contractors instead of issuing cheques when possible.
These were among a slew of initiatives announced by the party on Saturday, months after it first unveiled its Action for Green Towns initiative.
Launched in May, the initiative aims to galvanise various stakeholders to work towards making every PAP-managed town "zero waste, energy efficient and greener" by 2025.
As part of the initiative, all of the PAP’s 15 town councils has a Member of Parliament (MP) as a "sustainability champion".
These 15 individuals, together with Young PAP representatives, form the Action for Green Towns task force led by chairperson of Jalan Besar Town Council Dr Wan Rizal.
Speaking at a press conference on Saturday, Dr Wan Rizal said in coming up with the plans, the taskforce took stock of what each town was doing in terms of sustainability.
“We came out with a report card, and this report clearly shows what they’ve done over the years and how much impact it made,” said Dr Wan Rizal.
He added that the report card covered three categories including zero waste, energy efficiency, as well as green town.
“(At) a very fundamental level, we are all doing our part, but can we go further to reduce carbon footprint? I think that is the direction that we want to go. But as I mentioned, we want to take small steps as possible to get more people on board,” he added.
BOOSTING ENERGY EFFICIENCY
More than 3,000 lifts across PAP towns will be replaced by 2025 with more reliable and “electricity-saving” models when they reach their recommended lifespan, said the party.
To further improve energy efficiency, all PAP town councils will introduce electricity saving specifications in the lift replacement programmes.
“New lift models save electricity with features such as energy regeneration systems, LED displays, LED lights with sensors, better ventilation,” said the party in a press release.
Currently, almost all the common area lights in PAP-managed estates have been changed to energy-saving LED lights.
“This has helped us save 1,413 million kWh of energy, equivalent to powering 313,665 four-room HDB homes for a year, and reduce over 586,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions,” said Coordinating Chair of PAP Town Councils Lim Biow Chuan, adding that it has also provided more reliable lighting for residents.
To further reduce energy usage, the party said it intends to progressively incorporate smart sensors across its towns when the LED lights are due to be replaced.
“The lights with smart sensors will provide more reliable light as they can be remotely monitored,” said PAP. It added that this measure is expected to reduce up to 62 million kWh of energy usage by 2025, equivalent to the energy used by 14,452 four-room HDB homes in a year.
By 2023, all of the party’s town councils will implement equipment to convert fallen leaves and branches into mulch, in order to reduce waste and carbon footprint from transporting excess plant material.
More greenery will also be incorporated when PAP town councils redesign and refresh public spaces in order to allow residents to enjoy more nature and cooler temperatures.