- A viral video from Tekka Market has raised questions about cleanliness rules in hawker centres, and what diners must do.
- Clearing tables, but not cleaning them, is our duty, says National Environment Agency (NEA).
- The Clean Tables Campaign encourages us all to be part of making our dining places clean and safe.
Facebook (NEA) reports that a video ruffled feathers online.
A chap got a telling-off.
He left his glass and drink can at a table at Tekka Market and Hawker Centre.
Other diners shrugged.
Isn’t that the job of the cleaners?
Not so, says the NEA.
Are Diners the New Cleaners?
Here’s the truth.
Wiping tables is not our job.
Clearing them is.
Leaving litter is not on, say the NEA.
That means tissues, wet wipes, drink cans, shells, and bones.
These are our responsibility.
A clean table is a kind gesture for the next diner.
Let’s keep it clean for them.
When it comes to hawker centres and hygiene, there’s more we need to know.
In February 2023, the NEA began the Clean Tables Campaign.
Their aim? Encourage us to help keep our dining places clean.
Minding Our Business, Cleaning Our Mess
We share a role in keeping our tables clean.
This helps the cleaners focus on their jobs – cleaning and disinfecting the tables.
Under Covid-19, this is the safer and more sustainable way, the NEA says.
Cleanliness goes beyond just our tables.
It’s no small matter leaving trays, crockery and litter on tables.
That includes tissues, wipes, straws, wrappers, cans, bottles, and food remnants.
But if you spill your Milo by accident, that won’t get you into trouble.
Rewards and Penalties
From 1 September 2023, NEA officers are keeping a keen eye on us.
Clear your trays and crockery properly, they’ll advise.
Ignore them and you could get a written warning.
A repeat offender? You’ll need to fork out up to S$2,000.
NEA will monitor the situation.
If needed, they’ll make changes to this campaign.
Who’s off the hook?
Well, not many.
The elderly, less-abled individuals, and children under 12.
But we’re not really off the hook, are we?
Not if we love our hawker centres.
The NEA, Cleaners and Us
“This self-service approach is also a more sustainable way of keeping our dining places safe and clean,” the NEA says.
Facts are facts.
We have a part to play in keeping our dining places clean.
The NEA sees this.
Cleaners help where they can, but we must chip in.
Returning our trays and used dishes helps the cleaners.
They can then focus on what they do best – cleaning the tables.
So, where does this leave us?
Clear our trays, ditch our litter, and no, we don’t have to wipe the tables down.
Let’s do our bit to keep our favourite hawker centres clean and safe.
Because we care, aren’t we?