What do you get when you put a mass sporting event and thousands of spectators together? Tonnes of trash.
From June 5, 2015 to June 16, 2015, Singapore hosted athletes from 11 countries—Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia, Singapore, Philippines, Vietnam, Myanmar, Timor-Leste, Cambodia, Brunei and Laos—who participated in 36 sports and 402 events during the 28th Southeast Asian Games (SEA Games) 2015.
In anticipation of the trash that will be left by the crowds, the Public Hygiene Council approached the World Mission Society Church of God Singapore (SGWMSCOG) to help tackle the concerns of waste management throughout the entire duration of the 28th SEA Games.
For ten days, more than 120 members from the SGWMSCOG stayed behind after each game and spent a total of 1500 man-hours cleaning up. Seeing how the volunteers from the SGWMSCOG set examples, numerous spectators started following suit and bagged their own trash, while praising the young volunteers for their efforts.
Analyn Jose, 42, a spectator from the Philippines, expressed her appreciation towards the volunteers. “It was a very gracious gesture for you guys to stay back to help clean up the place. You guys are setting a very good example!”
“This opportunity is so hard to come by! How often do you get to watch so many different sports in the SEA Games, and at the same time, glorify God through our deeds? Even though it’s almost midnight, I don’t feel tired at all!” exclaimed Zhuang Yuan, 20, university student and a member of the SGWMSCOG, while cleaning the arena after a basketball game.
More than 400 bags of trash were collected during the ten-day event.