Current Affairs

Messy Tray Return Area Sparks Criticism Of New Rules, NEA Says Photo’s From 2016

Old Picture Of Messy Tray Return Area Goes Viral

Following the resumption of dining-in on 21 Jun, the National Environment Agency (NEA) soon announced that returning trays and cutlery has become mandatory.

Since the rule comes with a fine should anyone fail to comply, reactions have been mixed.

With many still reeling from the news, a photo circulating online of a messy tray return area only complicates matters.

Photo of messy tray return area irks netizens

On Wednesday (25 Jun), a picture of a tray return area overflowing with used cutlery made its rounds on social media.

In light of the recently enforced tray return rules, the photograph sparked heated discussions among many netizens, who questioned the viability of the new rules.


The fact that former Presidential candidate Tan Kin Lian also posted it fuelled the debate further.

Photo was apparently from 2016

After the photo gained much traction, NEA published a Facebook post later that same day, addressing its legitimacy.


Clarifying that the viral photo was actually from 2016, they showed what the area looks like now, in 2021.

Definitely much cleaner, we can also see that the tray return area is bigger now, meaning that it can accommodate even more utensils.

NEA will be improving tray return infrastructure

According to an article by NEA, they will be setting up more tray return infrastructure across all hawker centres to encourage diners to return their dirty trays and utensils.


They will also step up efforts to remind the public to return their trays through posters and reminders from officers.

This will coincide with the advisory period from 1 Jun, to 1 Sep when enforcement begins.

Everyone has a part to play in raising cleanliness standards

Although adapting to the new rules may take some effort, we’re sure everyone will be able to in due time.

Besides helping to keep our hawker centres clean, we’ll be doing our community a good service too, while easing the burdens of cleaners, many of whom are old folks.

Everyone has a part to play in raising cleanliness standards in public, especially in the current pandemic, and we can definitely start by picking up after ourselves.

Have news you must share? Get in touch with us via email at

Featured image adapted from NEA on Facebook.

Iqmall Hayat

“Why waste time say lot word when few word do trick? ” -Kevin Malone

Recent Posts

30-Year-Old Portugal Dog Is World’s Oldest Ever, He Escaped Being Killed After Birth

His owner attributes his longevity to the peaceful environment, freedom and diet.

4 Feb 2023, 1:59 am

3 TOTO Hong Bao Winners Take Home S$4.27M Each, Huat Outlets In Bencoolen, West Coast & Tampines

Long queues had formed at Singapore Pools outlets islandwide.

3 Feb 2023, 11:33 pm

49-Year-Old Woman Found Dead In East Coast Park Waters, Police Suspect She Drowned

Preliminary investigations didn't indicate foul play.

3 Feb 2023, 11:10 pm

Man Confronts & Charges At Elderly Smoker In Hougang, Senior Falls & Passes Away

He wanted to confront the elderly man for smoking at the void deck.

3 Feb 2023, 6:46 pm

27 S’pore Dogs Up For Adoption, Give A Shiba Inu, Poodle Or Pomeranian Furever Homes

Interested applicants must answer an extensive list of questions assessing their suitability to adopt.

3 Feb 2023, 6:22 pm

Man Sets NewJeans’ Haerin As Wallpaper & Wins S$3.2K From TOTO

OMG. Wish we had such luck too.

3 Feb 2023, 5:57 pm