Albert Food Centre cleaners experienced 'temporary difficulty' during evening peak hour: NEA on messy tray return area

NEA added that the racks at the affected section were cleared shortly after the cleaners were able to manage their workload.

Matthias Ang | March 14, 2023, 01:23 PM

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Photos of overflowing garbage and uncollected dishes at a tray return area in Albert Food Centre on Mar. 10 were recently shared to Facebook.

In response to Mothership's queries, the National Environment Agency (NEA) said it had looked into "table-cleaning operations" on Mar. 10 at Albert Food Centre with the Hawkers’ Association and their appointed table-cleaning contractor.

NEA: Cleaners could cope during lunch but experienced "temporary difficulty" in the evening

According to NEA, the Hawkers’ Association had anticipated a surge in diners on Mar. 10, and had requested more cleaning manpower from their appointed table-cleaning contractor.

NEA said it understood that while cleaners were able to cope with the clearing of dirty crockery from the tray return racks during the lunchtime peak period, they experienced some "temporary difficulty" at one section of the hawker centre during the evening peak dining period.

NEA added, "The racks at this section were cleared shortly when the cleaners were able to better manage their workload."

Hawker's Association and table-cleaning contractor will look into improving "workflow"

NEA said it also understood that the Hawker's Association and and their appointed table-cleaning contractor will look into "tightening the workflow" to better manage any increased workload, especially during peak dining periods.

NEA added, "We also urge customers to be patient with cleaners, many of whom are elderly and trying their best to provide diners with a clean dining space during peak dining periods at hawker centres.  "

A number of stall owners at Albert Food Centre have attributed the issue to several factors such as a shortage and reduction in the number of cleaning staff, as well as new cleaners being unfamiliar with the hawker centre.

Top photos by Kong MaLa via Complaint Singapore/Facebook