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PAP Town Councils and Residents take Action for Greener Towns

03 Dec 2021 3 min read

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The People’s Action Party has unveiled the first phase to making every PAP-managed town zero waste, energy efficient and greener, in line with its aim to transform our housing estates into better living environments for every resident.   

As the contribution to Singapore’s goals under the Green Plan, the 15 PAP Town Councils launched the Action for Green Towns (AGT) initiative in May this year to level up sustainability practices within their communities. The AGT initiative affirms the importance of combatting climate change in creating a better home for every Singaporean now and for the future. Actions in support of this mission are coordinated across the 15 Town Councils by an AGT Taskforce and driven in each PAP Town Council by a dedicated Sustainability Committee consisting of residents, Young PAP activists and an elected member (MP) who champions sustainability.   

Mr Lim Biow Chuan, Coordinating Chair of PAP Town Councils, said, “Since 2012, we have changed almost all the common area lights in our estates 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, all while providing more reliable lighting for residents. We have also worked with the HDB to install and maintain over 3,000 solar panels on the blocks we manage, to power more of our blocks with clean and affordable energy. PAP Town Councils want to take our actions further, to incorporate sustainable practices that will create real tangible benefits to the communities we are looking after. These plans we have unveiled show how every action can make a difference and improve our way and quality of life.”  

Dr Wan Rizal, Chair of the AGT Taskforce and also Jalan Besar Town Council’s Chairperson and Sustainability Champion, said, “Since we announced the AGT initiative, we’ve found that Singaporeans are extremely passionate about sustainability and they want to get involved. I’m grateful to the many residents and partners who have shared their ideas with us. The AGT taskforce will continue to partner more Singaporeans to identify more actions we can take for green towns.” 

Mr Lim Biow Chuan and Dr Wan Rizal at the paper recycling machine at Blk 68 Geylang Bahru void deck
A woodchipper is used to convert excess plant materials into mulch, an essential component to maintain a water efficient garden, a step towards sustainable gardening.

The plans by the AGT taskforce are: 

Zero Waste

  1. In partnership with SGRecycle, to deploy at least 78 paper recycling machines in HDB estates
    • To improve paper recycling rates (estimated 1 ton of paper recycled per machine per month, equivalent to saving 17 trees) while residents earn cash for recycling
    • Young PAP activists can conduct outreach when the COVID situation allows to raise awareness of these machines among residents
  2. All PAP Town Councils (TCs) pledge to reduce paper use, e.g.
    • Reduce printouts in TC offices
    • Implement electronic payments to contractors (replacing cheques) when possible

Energy Efficiency

  1. When the LED lights in place are due to be replaced, PAP TCs intend to incorporate smart sensors progressively to further reduce energy usage.
    • 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 
    • The lights with smart sensors will provide more reliable light as they can be remotely monitored.
  2. To include electricity saving specifications in the lift replacement programmes for all PAP TCs
    • New lift models save electricity with features such as energy regeneration systems, LED displays, LED lights with sensors, better ventilation, etc., with different features being deployed in different conditions 
    • From now till 2025, over 3,000 lifts will be replaced with more reliable, electricity-saving models when they reach their recommended lifespan

Greener Environment

  1. Incorporate more greenery when TCs redesign and refresh public spaces in towns so residents can enjoy more nature and cooler temperatures
  2. All PAP TCs will implement by 2023 wherever possible
    • In-town conversion of excess plant materials into mulch to help our town greenery flourish
    • This will reduce waste and carbon footprint from transporting excess plant material. It will also help TCs maintain greenery, so residents can enjoy more nature and cooler temperatures