“Operation WE Cleanup” – 39 volunteers remove 403.5kg of trash from Lim Chu Kang mangrove [08 May 2016]

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Sun 08 May 2016 – 39 volunteers joined us early the morning for the “Operation WE Cleanup” at Lim Chu Kang mangrove. This movement is led by the Public Hygiene Council (PHC) to encourage Singaporeans to play a role in keeping our environment clean and we were glad that ICCS could support it!

Collectively, we removed a total of 403.5kg of trash (in 56 bags) over a 90 minute cleanup, leaving the beach looking so much healthier! There were lots of plastic bottles, straws, bags and styrofoam pieces of a variety of sizes. Where do you think they came from?

An exposed used syringe was carefully disposed – it is important that sharp objects be disposed properly and responsibly, to protect everyone who will handle the trash all the way to the incinerator. This is something we reinforce in every safety briefing prior to the cleanup – see Safety Advice for Participants on our website, which dates back to the 90’s!

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Medium trash load at Lim Chu Kang mangrove. I’ve found so many plastic straws within a small area!

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North-West Zone Captain, Adriane Lee.

During the cleanup, Adriane Lee chanced upon two mangrove pit vipers. Although venomous, like every other animal, they will not attack unless provoked. We kept our distance but encouraged everyone to enjoy the lovely view of the snakes on the tree. It certainly is important to be aware of our surroundings during a mangrove cleanup and watch where you place your hands and legs –points we cover in the safety briefing !

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The success of this and every other cleanup was due of course to our lovely team of volunteers who worked hard and were so responsive to coordination. It is a real joy to work with them and we are encouraged to organise more of these cleanups together!

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Happy volunteers in action – Part 1

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Happy volunteers in action – Part 2

Otterman shows how we work steadily on a patch of mangrove:
leave organics (including sand and mud) behind, and separate out glass”

Otterman sets up weighing stations with our lovely, obliging volunteers

During our Year Round Coastal Cleanups, we end with a debrief of the trash collected, type of trash and share information about the site, from its historical use to the present day and its conservation status. Our ICCS coordinator Otterman (N. Sivasothi), also identified ways in participants can reduce trash at home or at the workplace.

Sharing our experience with others is also important, he explained, as many would not believe the amount of trash that does settle on our shores in Singapore. We can all help by making small changes in our daily lives. No matter how small the effort might seem, collectively this can be significant!

Happy Singapore World Water Day everyone!

View 100+ photos on Flickr.

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Otterman giving a debrief at the end of the session.

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Operation WE Clean Up @ Lim Chu Kang Beach & Mangrove (Sun 08 May 2016: 7.30am) – join us!

“Operation WE Clean Up!,” led by the Keep Singapore Clean Movement aims to encourage Singaporeans to reflect on the cleanliness of their environment. In conjunction with the movement, ICCS will be organising a coastal cleanup on Sunday, 08 May 2016: 7.30am to 11.30am.

Please register here.

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To read up more about “Operation WE Clean Up!,” please visit the Public Hygiene Council page.

Why Cleanup? Singapore shores are host to a magnificent biodiversity that has survived innumerable pressures from man. Marine trash in these areas adversely impacts our wildlife, releases toxic chemicals and devalues the natural beauty of the landscape. Coastal cleanups conducted by volunteers around the world remove this trash, raise awareness of the plight of our oceans, and motivate us to rethink our habits in daily urban living to push us towards sustainable practises.

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Lim Chu Kang Beach located in the northwest of Singapore, is an iconic beach and mangrove next to Lim Chu Kang Jetty. Facing the Western Straits of Johor, it it besieged by trash from numerous land-based sources deposited into rivers, as well as from offshore fish farms. The precious mangrove is an area where this trash accumulates and impacts the life there.

Meeting Point: Participants can meet at the bus stop outside Kranji MRT (Bus code: 45139) and will be transported to the cleanup site at Lim Chu Kang Beach.

Bus pick up point

Itinerary 

07.30 – Bus pick up at bus stop outside Kranji MRT (Bus code: 45139)
08:00 – Arrive at the end of Lim Chu Kang Road, unload all logistics from the bus.
08:15 – Apply insect repellant, collect gloves and trash bags. Briefing about the site, wet weather plans (carry on unless lighting threat), form groups of four, move to site, identification of Trash Collection Point (TCP
08:30 – Cleanup begins
09:00 – Transportation of trash to TCP.
09:30 – End of clean-up. Trash is weighed and participants debriefed
10:00 – Participants clean up (bring water to ensure you are clean enough to board the bus). Note that there are no recreational facilities nearby.
10:30 – Bus will transport participants from cleanup site back to Kranji MRT.
11:00 – We say goodbye at Kranji MRT!

Things to note

  1. Transport to Lim Chu Kang Beach, gloves, trash bags and weighing scales are provided.
  2. You MUST wear hard-soled covered shoes or booties to to protect your feet from hazards.
  3. A change of clothes is recommended after a sweaty workout.
  4. Long pants are recommended to protect your legs from insect bites, but bermudas are fine.
  5. In the event of bad weather, we will continue the cleanup. The event will stop in the case of lightning threat.

Things to bring:

  1. Water bottle (with at least one litre of water), to drink and cleanup yourself with
  2. Towel to wipe off sand and mud
  3. Hat and/ or sun block
  4. Reusable raincoat/ poncho (we will work in a drizzle)

Be prepared:

  1. Sleep early the night before
  2. Have a decent breakfast – it’s hard work!
  3. Bring a snack to munch on immediately after the cleanup.
  4. Be punctual – we are unable to wait for latecomers; tide waits for no one!
  5. Bring water and a small towel to clean yourself with – else no boarding the bus!
  6. Refer to this recce report of Lim Chu Kang Beach for more information on the cleanup site.

Thank you for caring for our planet!