Be a responsible neighbour in your neighbourhood

Living in a HDB estate is akin to living in a large extended family. That can be a lot of fun and lively, or an absolute nuisance, depending on what the resi-dents make out of it. We share walls and corridors with immediate neighbours. We share common facilities across the estate. Beyond our apartments, there are no clear boundaries. What we do at home or in the estate may affect our neighbours one way or another.

Being responsible to our neighbourhood creates a pleasant and harmonious environment for us all to live in. Keeping our volume levels low at home would make our neighbourhood a peaceful and quiet one. Cleaning up after our pets would also keep the environment clean for us and our neighbours.

Littering, especially bulky litter, is one of the biggest problems that ruins the living environment of a HDB estate. Sometimes, bulky items are placed along the corridors or disposed at common amenities like lift landings, creating obstructions and potential fire hazards. Residents can approach the Town Council for help to dispose such items.

We can, and we must take it upon ourselves to protect the well-being of our estate. Residents and Town Council need to work together to achieve the ideal neighbourhood. Here are some examples of simple things we can do to maintain or even enhance the quality of life at home:

– Do not obstruct the corridors and common areas with litter and bulky items. If you require assistance with moving them, call the Town Council at 6259 6700 or email them at for assistance.

– Bag all your litter and throw them inside the central rubbish chute or bring them down to the void decks where there are numerous rubbish bins.

– Use public property with care; damaging or defacing common property is vandalism and perpetrators can be penalised by the law.

– Leash your pets when walking them, and clean up after them in common areas.

– Feed strays in a responsible manner and clear all leftover food away after feeding. Feeding strays is not illegal, but littering and dirtying public spaces is. Regardless, one should not feed pigeons as they spread diseases.

– Do not let down your guard on Zika and Dengue mosquitoes. Ensure that your house and corridor are free of stagnant water.

If you see someone not doing things right, speak to your neighbourhood grassroots group. Most people are reasonable but simply lack the knowledge or self- awareness. They would be grateful to be informed. Bishan-Toa Payoh is home for everyone.

– This article first appeared in a Town Council newsletter.

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