Written Reply by Ms Grace Fu, Minister for Sustainability and the Environment, to Parliamentary Question on Assisting Handicapped and Seniors with Tray Returns
Mr Kwek Hian Chuan Henry: To ask the Minister for Sustainability and the Environment whether NEA can work with the hawker center cleaners and the public to assist the handicapped and very frail seniors to return their food trays rather than to impose the fine on them.
1 Since 1st September this year, the National Environment Agency (NEA) has started enforcing against table littering in hawker centres following a three-month advisory period. For diners who do not clear their dirty trays, crockery, and litter, enforcement officers will first advise them to do so. Diners who refuse to heed officers' advice will have their particulars taken down and issued written warnings if it is their first offence. Only second and subsequent offenders will be issued fines or be sent to Court.
2 NEA adopts a pragmatic approach on enforcement. We will not take enforcement action against diners who are clearly unable to carry their food to the table, such as the elderly who have difficulty moving about, young children and persons with disabilities. We urge their family members, dining companions, and members of public to help them return their trays and dirty crockery. Moving towards a full self-service model where diners return their dirty trays and crockery after their meals is also a kind gesture to make it less laborious for our ageing cleaning workforce. It also shows consideration to the next diner.