Condo residents raise a stink over Yishun BTO bin centre, HDB adjusts project
Residents of a condominium in Yishun have raised a stink over the bin centre of an adjacent Build-to-Order (BTO) Housing Board (HDB) project that is under construction.
Their feedback prompted the HDB to change the orientation of the bin centre and put in a new access road for the waste removal trucks to divert them away from the Skies Miltonia condo.
In an e-mail thread obtained by The Straits Times, 66 home owners signed a petition and submitted it to HDB representatives and their MP, Mr Derrick Goh (Nee Soon GRC), on March 21 to move the pneumatic waste conveyance system (PWCS) bin centre of the BTO project Miltonia Breeze @ Yishun.
HDB told The Straits Times that it had been working with Mr Goh and grassroots leaders to engage the Miltonia Residents’ Network and residents of Skies Miltonia on their concerns.
The resident’s network comprises residents of the three nearby condominiums: Skies Miltonia, The Shaughnessy and The Miltonia Residences.
To address their concerns, HDB will reorientate the facing of the PWCS bin centre away from Skies Miltonia, and provide an additional access road to the bin centre via Yishun Avenue 1.
It will also extend the PWCS exhaust ducting so that the discharge point is further away from the condominium.
It will roll out more landscaping such as planting dense and layered greenery to screen off the bin centre and service road from Skies Miltonia, and serve as an added acoustic buffer as well as improve the aesthetics of the facility.
This includes providing a green roof and trellis to “soften the visual impact for Skies Miltonia residents living on the higher storeys”.
The BTO project of 1,334 units had its sales launch in November 2022 and is estimated to receive its temporary occupation permit in June 2029.
In the e-mail thread, one resident wrote to HDB and Mr Goh: “Put yourself in our shoes. What would you feel, if the greenery next to your house was to be removed, and construction was to be carried out for a few years, only for that greenery to be replaced by a centralised waste centre.”
The resident behind the petition declined to comment.
The bin centre at the BTO project will be 32m from the nearest residential block at Skies Miltonia, with the condominium’s tennis court, planted boundary and a future service road between them, said HDB.
It added that this distance is within planning norms and complies with regulatory requirements.
“In fact, the 32m separation is further than the distance between the existing bin compounds of the other private residential developments in the area, for example, Skies Miltonia, Miltonia Residences and The Shaughnessy, from one another, and also further than the distance between Skies Miltonia’s bin centre and the nearest future HDB block,” it added.
The PWCS is an enclosed system that uses pneumatic suction to transport household refuse through an underground pipe network to a centralised bin centre. The refuse is stored in sealed containers and taken to incineration plants by waste disposal trucks.
No worker is needed to manually collect the refuse from rubbish chutes at individual blocks.
The bin centre is largely enclosed except for the discharge valve, but even that will release only filtered air towards the public road at Yishun Avenue 1, away from residential developments, said HDB.
A resident of Skies Miltonia who wanted to be known only as Mr Tan, 64, told ST that he decided not to sign the petition because he felt it was premature to do so without waiting for HDB’s response.
HDB representatives met residents to listen to their concerns on March 4 and had yet to respond before the residents behind the petition went door to door to get signatures.
“HDB has done what it can do, and it’s more than I thought they would do,” said Mr Tan, a director of a logistics firm.
“There are pros and cons. People are saying the value of their homes will drop because of this BTO, but there are also others who say that with the BTO there, we will have more amenities, which is a plus point,” he noted.
He added that he is glad that the PWCS bin centres at least have the technology to reduce odour and noise.
Mr Goh, the MP, said the residents’ network held three meetings with HDB to address residents’ concerns, the latest on May 6.
He told ST: “I understand the need to build more HDB BTOs in the Miltonia area given the strong housing demand in land-scarce Singapore.
“It will mean that we will live closer together, so I hope our condominium residents will accommodate this new development and I thank them for their patience and understanding.”
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