Speech by Dr Amy Khor, Senior Minister for Sustainability and the Environment, at the Bulky Waste to Wonder Competition Finals 2023 on 29 October 2023
Mr Andrew Khng, Chairman of Public Hygiene Council (PHC),
Ms Chong Siak Ching, CEO, National Gallery Singapore,
Parents and Students,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
1 Good morning. I am very happy to be here today to join you at the prize presentation ceremony of the inaugural nationwide Bulky Waste to Wonder Competition 2023, in conjunction with the quarterly SG Clean Day.
2 Let me begin by congratulating all our students and commending them for stepping up to proactively help us with their creative ideas to innovate and develop solutions to help tackle the challenges of bulky waste littering. As I was going around, I was really amazed by many creative ideas that the students have to convert bulky waste into new functional items.
Bulky Waste Littering
3 It is quite common to see bulky furniture improperly disposed of in the common areas in housing estates. This is despite the free removal services provided by Town Councils to their residents once a month.
4 Many do not know that disposing unwanted furniture in common areas in housing estate is considered an act of littering.
5 Bulky waste that is not disposed of properly is not only unsightly but can also be a hotbed for insect or pest infestation even dengue breeding, and therefore it is a potential threat to public health.
6 In addition, bulky waste items which are not disposed of properly could also pose a fire hazard or be obstructions if people need to evacuate in an emergency.
Bulky Waste to Wonder Competition 2023
7 Since its formation in 2011, the PHC has been promoting and engaging stakeholders, including students on the importance of public cleanliness and hygiene through various initiatives and programmes. Many of them are increasingly very creative and engaging. This is the third year running that the PHC and the Ministry of Education (MOE) have partnered to inculcate the right values from an early age by creatively engaging and inspiring students to learn more through research and hands-on experience.
8 The Bulky Waste to Wonder Competition is an excellent example of the positive outcomes that can arise when we nurture our youths. This competition helped them to rethink the use of bulky waste and explore possibilities to reuse bulky waste by redesigning and repurposing them into something functional.
9 I am heartened to see our youths so enthusiastic about caring for the environment and proactively taking part in the Bulky Waste to Wonder Competition 2023. For instance, some of them are from the environmental interest groups and are stepping forward to actively participate in this competition.
10 I understand that after this event, the PHC will be showcasing the winning and shortlisted entries at various locations islandwide.
11 I hope that your projects will inspire many others to be more aware of properly disposing bulky waste and consider how they can repurpose this furniture to give it a new lease of life. It will really help if you extend the lifespan of these furniture, whether you repurpose or use it, you reduce our waste footprint, reduce the amount of waste that we send to our Semakau landfill, and help us achieve our goal of a zero-waste nation and a zero-litter society.
12 Congratulations again to all our talented students, and their parents as well as teachers for their efforts in preparing for this competition. To be shortlisted from close to 30 entries received, as one of the top five is a commendable feat.
13 I certainly hope these masterpieces will continue to inspire more to rethink the possibility of reusing to reduce bulky waste. I would also like to thank our partners as this event would not have been possible without your support. Together, we can inculcate civic-mindedness and the right values in our youths and encourage them to adopt a more sustainable lifestyle, and progress towards a truly clean and more hygienic Singapore.
14 Have a wonderful weekend ahead. Thank you very much.