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RAS releases the first 3-year blueprint on public restrooms

RAS held a media conference on 16th December to share the key findings and recommendations of a 70-page Inter-Agency Working Committee (IAWC) report, which is also a 3-year blueprint on public restrooms. In total, there are 35 recommendations in the report which fall under three key sections namely the Owners & Operators (O&O), Contactors & Cleaners (C&C) and Users. On O&O, the findings and recommendations cover cleanliness, maintenance, design and standards. On C&C, it covers accreditation schemes and training and growing the cleaning industry. On Users, it covers education, awareness and recognition.


The inception of the IAWC in October 2008 was part of a long-term plan to achieve clean public toilets. Co-chaired by the RAS and World Toilet Organization (WTO), three sub-committees namely the O&O, C&C and Users, were formed to study problems persisting with dirty toilets. Each sub-committee met quarterly to brainstorm solutions and updated each other on the findings and recommendations. RAS consolidated the details and submitted the report in September 2010. RAS also incorporated all comments from the government agencies such as the National Environment Agency (NEA), Spring Singapore, Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) and Workforce Development Agency (WDA) into its final report.


[News Reports] [IAWC Report]


RAS shares its key initiatives with attendees at the World Toilet Summit

At the 10th annual World Toilet Summit (WTS) held in the US for the first time from 31st October to 3rd November, RAS shared with the attendees about its close partnership with the government agencies which included working with the NEA on a revised guideline of providing more female toilets in 2005. The audience were pleased to learn of the success of the 3P (Public, Private and People Sectors) partnership in Singapore especially the inception of an IAWC to work together towards the provision of clean public restrooms.


The WTO partnered with the International Code Council (ICC) to hold the WTS with thousands of attendees and over 300 exhibitors specialising in plumbing and sanitation, coming together for this event. Topics of the sessions covered innovative toilet designs, market-based sanitation solutions, cleaning services & supplies, potty parity and advocacy. On the “Channels that advocate sanitation” session, RAS shared on partnerships between NGOs and government together with US Ambassador Mr John W. McDonald who shared on influencing good sanitation policy.

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RAS organises its first LOO (Let’s Observe Ourselves) Carnival

RAS organised its first three-day carnival from 3rd to 5th December in conjunction with its LOO (Let’s Observe Ourselves) Awards ceremony which was held for the first time last year. A total of 40 nominations were received and 21 recipients were selected to receive the awards from Guest-of-Honour Dr Amy Khor, Minister of State for the Environment and Water Resources at the National Library Building. The 21 recipients also included five recipients under a new Best Happy Toilet category namely the best coffeeshop, hawker centre, foodcourt, shopping centre and Happy Toilet of the Year 2010.


The awards ceremony was held on the first day of the carnival. At the carnival, partners and sponsors namely the NEA, PUB, Singapore Cancer Society, WDA, WTO, Rentokil Initial, Qool Enviro and Northern Ecotech featured products and services related to the restroom environment. RAS also showcased its mobile exhibition – RAS Learning Pavilion – on the different facets of sanitation development in Singapore since the 1960s. Visitors to the carnival also attended talks and participated in educational games and activities such as the Loo Quest, a restroom-etiquette version of snakes and ladders.


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RAS launches its first LOO (Let’s Observe Ourselves) @ Heartlands campaign

After the media conference on the IAWC report, RAS launched its public awareness campaign, LOO@Heartlands on 16th December at the 21 Street Eating House – the first coffeeshop with 5-star Happy Toilet – in Tampines. This campaign would begin at food & beverage (F&B) outlets with Happy Toilets. Pocket tissue packets specially-designed with catchy messages would be distributed to toilet visitors during peak hours from noon to 2pm and/or 5pm to 7pm for a period of three to seven days. Catchy messages such as “Enter in a rush, leave with a flush” and “We aim to please, you AIM TOO please” are some slogans to remind users to adopt the right restroom etiquette. Close to 800 tissue packets were distributed to toilet visitors at the 21 Street Eating House for a period of five days from 13th to 17th December.


RAS launched this campaign as part of its bid to support one of the IAWC report’s recommendations on public awareness campaign. This campaign was also launched to help Happy Toilet owners from the F&B outlets to continue to offer quality toilets. RAS has received feedback from the owners on the challenges of maintaining the cleanliness due to irresponsible users. Annual surveys for the past three years still revealed that more than 70% of the respondents had attributed dirty toilets to irresponsible users. RAS is targeting to reach out to all F&B outlets with Happy Toilets over a period of three years from 2011.


RAS hosts study visit for Hainan government delegates

On 25th November, RAS hosted a half-day study visit for a group of Hainan government delegates. During the visit, our President shared useful information and some of our programmes with the delegates. She also hosted a guided tour for the group at three locations beginning with Blk 628 Ang Mo Kio Hawker Centre, the centre with the best 5-star Happy Toilet followed by Parkview Primary School, one of the LOO Awards recipients this year and lastly at Street 21 Eating House, the first coffeeshop with 5-star Happy Toilet.

The delegates were here for a visit to learn of Singapore’s experience in tackling problems pertaining to dirty toilets so as to better prepare themselves when they host the World Toilet Summit next year. This is the second time that the summit is held in Mainland China. It was held in Beijing in 2004 with the intention of gearing up for the upcoming 2008 Olympic Games. The summit resulted in the renovation of 4,000 public toilets in Beijing with other cities following suit. We thank the management of Ang Mo Kio Hawker Centre, 21 Street Eating House and Park View Primary School for graciously accommodating our visit.


RAS conducts talks and training workshops for working professionals

RAS conducted a series of talks and training workshops from October to November. The topics of the talks covered social graciousness including restroom etiquette, hygiene practices and restroom standards i.e. three, four and five-star standards of the Happy Toilet Programme. The training workshops equipped participants with useful knowledge and practical skills to inspect the cleanliness of restrooms based on a checklist used for the assessment of Happy Toilets.

On 27th October, RAS conducted a training workshop for the employees and cleaning contractors of the National Library Board followed by a similar training workshop for the workers at the construction site of a condominium along Balmoral Road on 25th November. Talks were also conducted to the facilities management staff of shopping centres at the NEA’s North West Regional Office and the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) at its office building on 3rd and 23rd November respectively.

RAS participates actively in Clean and Green Singapore (CGS) events

RAS was invited by the NEA to showcase its exhibits at the Clean & Green Singapore (CGS) 2011 Launch & Carnival from 6th to 7th November followed by the CGS Schools' Carnival from 10th to 11th November. The CGS 2011 Campaign was launched by Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong on 6 November 2010. In one of the exhibits at the launch, RAS was featured as one of the founding members of the Keep Singapore Beautiful Movement (KSBM) which aims to mobilise our community to take action to protect and sustain our precious living environment.

RAS was also invited to other community events such as the Woodlands Community Day and the Pasir Ris-Punggol Town Day on 31st October and 12 December respectively to share its programmes and initiatives with the public. Health Minister Khaw Boon Wan was present as the Guest-of-Honour (GOH) at the Woodlands Community Day while Deputy Prime Minister Teo Chee Hean was present as the GOH at the biannual Pasir Ris-Punggol Town Day to meet up with the residents in Pasir Ris-Punggol Town. The objective of the event is to promote and spread the ‘gracious living’ message to all residents in Pasir Ris-Punggol Town.

[More Details] [View CGS Launch Photos] [View Schools’ Carnival Photos]

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