Overflowing tray return stations at Jurong Point Kopitiam on Jan. 10 was due to unexpected manpower crunch

Monday's mess was an abnormality, cleaners told Mothership.

Low Jia Ying | January 15, 2022, 05:15 PM

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Pictures of Jurong Point Kopitiam's overflowing tray return stations went viral earlier this week, with many online questioning how the food court let the mess get so out of hand.

A Facebook post uploaded to the "Umbrage Singapore" group included pictures taken on Monday evening (Jan. 10) of tray return stations that were filled to the brim or overflowing with dirty dishes.

When Mothership visited the food court this afternoon (Jan. 15), the tray stations were practically spotless despite the weekend crowd.

Stations overflowing, trays stacked on floor

The pictures that were claimed to have been taken on Monday at 7:30pm showed that the tray stations at the Jurong Point Kopitiam were overfilled with trays and dishes.

At the smaller tray return station, trays and dirty dishes can be seen placed on top of the metal shelf.

Photo via Umbrage Singapore/FB.

Trays were also stacked haphazardly on the floor in front of the tray station.

Photo via Umbrage Singapore/FB.

The situation appeared slightly better managed at the main tray return station.

Though full, the trays at the station were placed relatively neatly on the shelves.

Photo via Umbrage Singapore/FB.

Photo via Umbrage Singapore/FB.

Situation much better on Saturday

When Mothership visited the food court at around 1pm on Saturday (Jan. 15), the tray stations were practically spotless.

Photo by Low Jia Ying.

The main tray return station was empty as well.

Photo by Low Jia Ying.

Other tray return stations in the food court were also similarly neat and tidy.

Photo by Low Jia Ying.

This was despite the large lunch time crowd at the food court at the time Mothership visited.

Almost all tables were full, with many diners waiting around for a seat to free up.

Long lines were also spotted at some food stalls.

Photo by Low Jia Ying.

At least three cleaners were sighted actively clearing trays and dishes from the tray stations.

Mothership understands that Monday's messy tray situation could have been caused by an unexpected manpower shortage that day.

The Jurong Point Kopitiam had recently reopened after undergoing a renovation, and is still in the process of sorting out manpower issues, Mothership understands.

Some cleaners who Mothership spoke to were aware of the viral Facebook post, and said that Monday's mess was an abnormality.

Compulsory tray return since Jan. 1, 2022

Since Jan. 1, 2022, enforcement action would be taken against individuals who do not clear their trays in food courts or hawker centres.

Diners who fail to return their trays will receive a written warning if it is their first offence.

Second-time offenders will receive a S$300 composition fine, and subsequent offenders may face court fines.

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Top photos via Umbrage Singapore/FB and Low Jia Ying