Public Cleanliness


Keeping Singapore clean

Singapore is known for being a clean and attractive city. NEA plays a key role in ensuring Singapore lives up to its reputation, by ensuring its streets and pavements are litter-free. This is achieved in three key ways: the cleaning of public areas, public education, and enforcement.

Cleaning of public areas

Before April 2012, NEA was responsible for the cleanliness of roads, pavements, and certain private estates and public areas in Singapore. Other agencies, such as PUB and NParks, were responsible for the cleaning of their own areas of responsibility, such as drains and parks.

To improve efficiency and achieve a higher standard of public cleanliness in Singapore, the Department of Public Cleanliness (DPC) was formed on 1 April 2012. It was renamed as Division of Public Cleanliness with effect from 1 September 2020.

More information about the DPC can be found here.

More information on initiatives to raise the standards, productivity, and professionalism of the cleaning industry can be found here.

Public education

The NEA works closely with its 3P partners (the people, public, and private sectors) to encourage members of the community to be responsible for keeping their surroundings clean.

The key message behind NEA’s education efforts is that the public should not rely on cleaners to clean up after them. Rather, they should hold on to litter until they find a bin to dispose of it. One of NEA’s key programmes is the “Singapore, Litter-Free” campaign. 


The NEA takes strict enforcement action against litterbugs, who will be subjected to a composition amount of $300 for a first offence. Under the amended Environmental Public Health Act, the maximum court penalties for littering-related offences have been doubled since 1 April 2014.

The Corrective Work Order (CWO) was introduced in 1992 to reform littering offenders. Recalcitrant offenders prosecuted in court may be required to perform CWO, which involves picking or sweeping up litter. This will give offenders the opportunity to reflect on the hardship that cleaners endure while cleaning up after them, and how litter mars our living environment. The CWO also carries an element of shame which serves as a deterrent against littering.