Corrective Work Order and Fines for Littering in Public in Singapore

Singapore has a very good reputation as a clean and green city and this cannot be achieve without strict enforcement on littering. While getting a fine is just part of the penalty, the government have passed down laws to tackle these litterbugs by hurting their pride as well. By just casual throwing rubbish onto the ground in the public, not only you could be fined $300 as a first time offender, you may also face a court hearing which earn you a “chance” for public cleaning. That is the Corrective Work Order.

Related: Chewing Gums Banned In Singapore


What is Corrective Work Order (CWO) Scheme ?

Corrective Work Order was first introduced in November 1992 to reform litterbugs. This act was considered as a form of counseling, reflecting to them the hardship cleaners faced while cleaning up the public places. Litterbugs would be required to accomphlish a certain amount of service hours picking up rubbish in public places. To make things worse, offenders are required to wear a bright orange jersey, identifying themselves as the litterbugs while cleaning up the areas. This bring shame to them and hopes that they would not repeat their acts again.

Harsher Penalties For Litterbugs

To tackle litterbugs rising in recent years, the Environmental Public Health Act has been amended to discourage those that behave irresponsibly. The courtroom fines for littering offenders was doubled since April 2014 to $2,000 for first offence, $4,,000 for second offence and $10,000 for third and subsequent offences.

    Updated on 23 September 2014

    Heavy Fine And Possible Jail Term For High Rise Littering in Singapore

    While space constraints is becoming a problem in Singapore, buildings are building upwards and higher throughout the decades. This has caused a social problem with irresponsible people littering from the high-rise buildings which some of these falling objects are fatal enough to injure or cause death to anyone passing below. We also called this as the killer littering. As a mean to curb such acts, the Singapore government has implemented strict law including jail terms for these group of people.

    The offence carries a punishment of imprisonment for a term which may extend to 6 months, or with a fine extend to $2,500, or with both. If someone is injured due to the littering act, there might be more litigation to be faced.


    Case Study

    A 58 year old was arrested on 6th February 2014 for throwing out items from his common corridor and kitchen window after police were being informed that a bicycle and other household items were thrown out from an unknown floor along a HDB block in Bukit Merah View. Court Order will be sought to remand the suspect for psychiatric assessment at Institute of Mental Health.

    Increasing littering in high-rise neighhourhood might cause adjustment in service & conservancy charges

    Residents may end up paying more in service and conservancy charges if the problem of high-rise littering gets worse.

    This possibility was raised by Parliamentary Secretary for National Development Dr Maliki Osman when he launched an anti-litter initiative in Admiralty on Sunday.

    Grassroots organisations will be using community pressure, like roping in residents to keep a lookout for those who litter from their flats.

    The number of complaints against high-rise littering island-wide has been increasing over the last few years.

    In 2008, there were 2,499 complaints.

    This jumped to 3,474 complaints last year.

    In the first half of this year, there have been 1,965 complaints.

    Dr Maliki said: “When we have a littering problem and we have a cleanliness problem, the conservancy costs will go up because the workers will have to come in more regularly.

    “That would increase the cost because from a normal cleaning situation where you just clean the common corridors and the lift lobbies, now you have to go into the individual households to try and clean it.

    “This is unnecessary for the residents because the higher the cost, it will be transferred to the residents. We do not want that to happen.

    “We want them to try and minimise the need for them to pay extra just because of irresponsible behaviour. At this point in time, we have not raised the conservancy charges at all because we have been able to manage, but I think we can continue to contain it even better if residents take responsibility.

    “The chances of increasing costs will be there if we do not contain this, because the idea is to look at the natural situation where previously you will not need workers to go into individual households.

    “Now, (in) one HDB block, you have an average of 100 units. Just imagine if half of that required cleaning. The costs will tremendously increase.

    “If we do not need that, then we can actually reduce the cost and maintain the cleanliness at the common corridors spaces and common area, and we really do not need to increase costs if everybody is responsible.”

    Source: Channelnewasia