Thursday, February 19, 2009

Getting Red over Green

I've been putting off the opportunity to blog about those recycling initiatives we have here at the Tiong Bahru Estate.

I think this is an initiative that induces a love-hate mental state amongst residents here.

We all know by now that we need to Reduce, Reuse and Recycle. I support that!

But deep down, I hate the way recycling is done over here!

Something happened yesterday made me snap!

No, it wasn't because
SULO moved the recycling bins from between block 48 and block 50 Moh Guan Terrace to block 38 Kim Pong Road.

The bins used to be located in between block 50 & block 48 Moh Guan Terrace

It was the lack of "engagement" that cheesed me off the most!

When I saw the recycling bins in front of block 38 Kim Pong Road, my initial thoughts was why did they not placed the bins next to the rubbish collection centre.

The bins are now located in front of block 38 Kim Pong Road

Why place it here to create so many pockets of messiness within this housing estate?

So I decided to call the hotline to find out if I can get them to move the bins to a more suitable location.

The 1st call to SULO was straightforward enough.

The male voice told me Lawrence and Ismail are in charge of this area and I should call them to find out.

He also said that I should contact Ismail first since Ismail is the manager.

I called Ismail’s number and was told that he was out of the office.

So I asked if I could speak to someone else instead and that lady connected me to another lady.

Since I was always curious about how often SULO clear these recycling bins, I decided to ask this nagging question that I have before suggesting to them about moving the bins.

It was a straightforward question which requires a straightforward answer.

The lady couldn’t answer it and I was put on hold to listen to some music.

When someone seems to be back on the line and before I could utter anything, I was put on hold to listen to the music again!

This pick-up, put-on-hold process was repeated about 3 times and then the line seems to go quiet.

Thinking that the line was dropped, I starting grumbling about how they have dropped my call after making me wait for so long.

To my embarrassment, a voice suddenly came back on to ask me for my contact number so that SULO can get back to me with an answer. (I think she heard my grumbling and the words I used wasn't pleasant.)

Me: What do you mean you need to check? You mean you don't even know how often you clear the bins?

SULO: I need to check with the person who is in charge, I don't know!

Me: Never mind then, I will call Lawrence to find out…since I have his number.

When I called Lawrence, he appeared a bit annoyed with me and asked me where I was calling from.

After I told him I was calling from Tiong Bahru, he asked me to call another number.

I went ballistic from here onward!

Me: What’s wrong with you guys? I just wanted to know how often you clear the bins. And you have to push me around your organization to get this simple answer?!

Me: Isn't that supposed to be common knowledge? Don't you even know how often bins in Tiong Bahru are cleared?!

Lawrence: I will check and call you back.

Eventually, Lawrence returned my call and by then, I have calmed down.

Lawrence: The bins in Tiong Bahru are cleared every Wednesday… but my men have already cleared the bins yesterday!

Me: Okay, Thanks. Do you think I could suggest you move the bins to the side of the rubbish collection centre?

Lawrence: I cannot decide because all these issues are decided by the NEA. They gave instruction to move those bins from block 50 Moh Guan Terrace to somewhere else.

Lawrence: You have to call them to find out.

(During our conversation, Lawrence also insisted that these bins are not mosquitoes incubators as the bins are kept closed all the time and water can flow out of the bins from the holes below!

Doesn’t he know that there is an orange cover which you can open up to throw your stuff in? And if the bins are filled to the brim, these cover will be left in the open mode. The contents within the bin can also trap water, making it conducive for the mosquitoes to breed. Perhaps someone has to contract dengue before action will be taken….oh sorry, make it MANY MANY people have to contact it because 1 person doesn’t make this area a hot spot and so no action will be taken either.)

Since I was out for the day, I had to Google NEA on my phone to get the number. (I really wanted to resolve this matter ASAP)

The call to NEA was surprising efficient, within 3 rings, someone answered my call.

The female voice at the end of the line took all my details and information and say she will escalate this!

Escalate? Mmm, I know the word “escalate” is used quite liberally in the corporate world but somehow she made it sound like I'm a trouble maker here.

So now I will wait for her to escalate this request.

While I wait for NEA’s reply, here’re some pictures to describe what I meant:

Move the bins to the side of the rubbish collection centre.

Here’s how it would look like

Personally, I don't really like the recycling bins because the collections is too few and far in between, resulting in a lot of pilferages.

I will use picture to illustrate my point:

Some stuff is placed into the bin while some are placed near the bins. As long as they are neat and tidy, it is acceptable.

People pilfer them for their own gains

This is the resulting mess and this scene is repeated all over Tiong Bahru!

How could we live with all these mess?

We have to decide if we should give priority to the green movement or give priority to a beautiful estate.

I suggest SULO come and clear these “GREEN MINE” more often so that everyone wins.

(If you think I complained too much lately, here’s a video that was inspired by a complaining spirit.)


Taoism said...

I laughed for the entire 10 minutes of this video? Got to put it on my blog

SGalf said...

How true and Uniquely Singapore right?

tiongbahruhc said...

well done! lets complain more!

SGalf said...

NEA called me at about 12:30pm today.

I think the officer's name is Puay Chow.

Quite a polite and nice guy.

He readily told me the bins has to be cleared once a week. (At least someone knows his job).

Puay Chow told me the reason why the bins was moved was becasue someone "recommended" it to be moved to the current place.

So I also partake in the exercise by "recommending" him my recommedations. LOL.

For clarity, I asked him to visit this blog and see the pictures.

Puay Chow promised to do a site visit tomorrow to see if my recommendation is feasible.

By the way, they will not abandon the recycling programme and they must have a bin with a radius of 5 blocks.

SGalf said...

I noticed they have moved the bins today.

I asked them to move the the sides but they moved to the back.

That means the residents at Block 49 Kim Pong Road will be upset now!

Looks like I've got to call NEA again.

Can they just do away with recycling programme?

I think the Karang Guni man is doing a better job.

Anonymous said...

It seems that recycling should indeed be left to the Karang Guni man in Singapore... He is involved in his job, not following "someone's" recommendations...