FOOD FOR THOUGHT: Keeping Our Trails Clean – It

A couple of riders took the liberty to bring along trash bags in one of their rides recently in the Bukit Timah and Lower Peirce Reservoir area. Their objective for the day? To pick up the litters that were strewed along the trails that we use often.

These riders are not fulfilling any compulsory social order work. What they did were out of their own free will. For this, Bikezilla applaud them.

Food for thought: Whose duty is it to maintain the cleanliness of the trail that we ride in? Simple answer: ALL THE USERS.

Most trails are shared by people using it for different purposes – cycling, hiking or angling. These various users bring in their drinks, meals, spare tubes, fishing peripherals and what nots. It is very convenient to simply toss off stuff that are expended to shave off carrying weight on the way out. But think about this: If you use this trail often, what are the chances of you seeing that same plastic bottle with your name scribbled on it, or the punctured tube you tossed onto a hanging branch again. I would say the chances is high.

Trails are place of low traffic in comparison to urban roads and walkways. As such, it is very unlikely that it is part of a cleaner's route. And even if it is, the first question posted still lingers.

Litters stays in the trail for a very very long time. Besides being an eye-sore, they can be unhygienic. Cigarette butts, snack wrappers and disposable food and beverage containers are the most commonly littered items. Cigarettes are one of the most insidious forms of litter – each discarded butt takes 2 years to break down, all the while leaching toxic elements such as cadmium, lead and arsenic into soil and waterways. Sounds serious? It is.

If we can agree that keeping the trails clean is our ( all users') responsibility, then it's time to make some provision for it. 


– Do not bring in stuff that you think you will not need into the trail

– Do not bring in disposable containers, use re-useable ones.

– Do not attempt to bury or burn the rubbish inside the trail.

– Do pick up litter if you see them. Doesn't matter if it's not yours.

– Do teach and remind your friends, and other trail users, not to litter. (Politely of course)

– Do not dispose of rubbish into any water area ( river, stream or reservoir).

– Do keep a plastic bag or trash bag inside your back pack or hydration pack on standby, in case you have to separate your rubbish from your clean belongings.

– Do bring your bag of rubbish out of the trail and only dispose them in designated rubbish bins.

– Do check your surroundings after you rested or stopped for anything you might have left behind.

– Do keep a civil-minded attitude when you have a urge to dispose of your rubbish.

– Do volunteer for trail clean-up events.


Let's all do our part to keep our trails clean. It's just healthier and more appealing.