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S$19,800 fine, CWO for high-rise littering

SINGAPORE — A man was fined S$19,800 for repeatedly flicking cigarette butts out of his flat — the highest fine meted out for high-rise littering to date.

S$19,800 fine, CWO for high-rise littering

A screenshot of the man throwing a cigarette from his unit. He was fined S$600 per charge for 33 charges and sentenced to five hours of CWO for one charge. Photo: NEA

SINGAPORE — A man was fined S$19,800 for repeatedly flicking cigarette butts out of his flat — the highest fine meted out for high-rise littering to date.

The man, 38, was also ordered to serve five hours of Corrective Work Order (CWOs). He was caught after the National Environment Agency (NEA) deployed a surveillance camera — in November 2013 and last March — which captured him throwing cigarette butts out of his window 34 times. He was fined last September.

The NEA said yesterday that it had received five complaints about high-rise littering at Block 224C Compassvale Walk over 12 months beginning in June 2013. The town council and grassroots organisations serving the area proceeded to reach out to residents and educate them about high-rise littering, but the problem persisted.

The NEA then set up a surveillance camera between Nov 14 and 19, 2013, and March 13 and 18 last year. Between March 13 and 16, the man was caught on camera littering from his unit.

The agency said it had received about 2,500 instances of feedback last year on high-rise littering, mostly involving cigarette butts, tissue paper and food waste. Such situations typically improve with outreach efforts. If complaints persist, the NEA deploys surveillance cameras in these areas.

Last year, the NEA deployed cameras at close to 600 such locations, and took 206 enforcement actions — fines and CWOs — against persons caught for high-rise littering. The NEA said that it, together with the relevant town councils and grassroots organisations, will continue with community outreach efforts to encourage residents to “exercise social graciousness” and to take “personal ownership” of shared environment spaces.

The Environmental Public Health Act was amended last year, doubling the maximum penalty for littering-related offences to S$2,000 for first-time offenders. Fines were also increased to S$4,000 for second-time offenders and S$10,000 for third and subsequent convictions. Those who encounter high-rise littering problems can call the NEA’s 24-hour hotline at 1800-CALL-NEA (1800-2255-632). Robin Choo

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