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Man Questions NEA Officers About Cleaning Hawker Centre Table After Eating, Asks If Wiping Necessary

Man Asks NEA Officers If He Has To Wipe Hawker Centre Table

Clearing our trays after eating at hawker centres, food courts, and coffee shops has become a common practice for most people in Singapore.

However, there are some grey areas as to how clean we should be leaving our tables.

One man recently asked two officers from the National Environment Agency (NEA) if he’s expected to wipe the table at the hawker centre.

The officers then clarified that he should clean the surface if he was the one who dirtied it.

Man records exchange with NEA officers over cleaning hawker table

The NUS – No Use Singapore Facebook group posted the recording of the three men’s exchange yesterday (13 Oct).

In the video, a man behind the camera asks:

To which one of the NEA officers said that, yes, he was supposed to clean his table.

Source: NUS – No Use Singapore on Facebook

The man, presumably a diner, then retorted saying that he should only be clearing his “disposables” and not going so far as to wipe the table.

“Sir, you understand when you eat [and] you put a bone on the table, or you pour something on the table, you have to clean it,” said the NEA officer.

Following this, the back-and-forth continued as the trio weren’t able to come to an understanding.

Source: NUS – No Use Singapore on Facebook

At one point, the man told the officers that it wasn’t his duty to wipe the water off the table.

“It’s not my duty to wipe, my only duty [is] to throw my disposable thing[s], correct? As per the rule,” he said.

The two officers were eventually able to get through to the man that if he made the mess, he had to clean it up.

As it turns out, the man was only seeking some clarity, as he thanked the two officers soon after.

Diners expected to keep tables clean

In 2021, NEA announced that it’d start fining those who don’t clear the hawker tables where they dine.

A poster on the agency’s website also states that it is an offence to leave litter on the table.

Source: National Environment Agency

Apart from returning trays and crockery, diners must clear their disposable waste as well as keep the table clean for the next diner.

MS News has reached out to NEA for comments and will update the article when they reply.

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Featured image adapted from Google Maps and NUS – No Use Singapore on Facebook.

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