Customers at 25 hawker centres in Singapore will soon be charged a fee if they don’t return their food trays


Customers at 25 hawker centres will soon be charged a fee if they do not return their food trays at the tray return area. Customers are these hawker centres will be required to pay a deposit between S$0.50 and S$1 when they use a tray. This amount will be returned to them if they return their tray at the appropriate station.

This change is part of the new Automated Tray Return System (ATRS) that is being implemented at the 25 hawker centres, starting with Marsiling Mall Hawker Centre, which will charge 50 cents deposit per tray, and Bukit Merah Hawker Centre, which will charge a dollar for the same.

This move will supposedly allow cleaners to clean tables more quickly for the use of more customers.

Centralised Dishwashing Services (CDW) are also a new change that is being introduced at these hawker centres, where hawkers will be charge for dishwashing services at a centralised area according to the amount of dishware they use each day. Used dishware that is sent to the CDW area will be cleaned in an industrial-scale automated dishwashing machine.

In order to encourage hawkers to make use of the CDW services, the National Environment Agency (NEA) will pay for up to 70 per cent of operating costs for 2 years.

Both the ATRS and CDW services are being implemented after they were recommended by the Hawker Centre 3.0 Committee which was convened to lower hawkers’ workload and boost productivity in the face of manpower challenges in the industry.


  1. How Lian Chan Stupid! What you need is education. If our schools and family upbringing failed then automation makes it worst by sending out the message it is OK not to be gracious. 52 years since independence and Singaporeans far from being gracious. Hawker Centre 3.0 Committee you have fail and fail badly. Disgusting. All of you should be fired.

    • In Singapore the leadership uses “money” and not education. Control the number of cars… COEs There is nothing to compare. We are just being made fools. If Singaporeans are well educated and culture all these need not be necessary unfortunately after campaigns and campaigns we still get the same old shit. Something is not right. As for me and my family I know they do the needful to clear the table so that the next group can have a good time. So now if they are going to start charging then I am going to leave the bowls and mess around and just return the tray. Whoever are in the committee they did not get the job done and they are a failure from the start. Sadly we talk about smartnation and we are no where near this goal or ever. Somewhere I seen this stupid looking robot and they make a big deal of something that don’t work or people are not even interested.

  2. I’m ok being charged for the tray.

    However, if the Hawkers are charged more than what they r now paying for the dishwashing services, imagine how many of them will turn to using disposables? That’ll be an utterly gross waste of resources. Has NEA looked into this comprehensively?

    • the problem here is all about how more $$$ they can get out in whatever they can get their hands on to increase revenue and later cut down the already short handed of manpower.

    • Pros and cons. If they serve using disposable crockery the cost might be more than paying washing fee. But what if they pass on that cost to the customers?

    • Maes Enna Yram
      Why ok? You have lots of spare money to burn is it? Already some hawkers are reaping us. End of the day, they point to this shit government for charging high. Why must hawker centre stalls rent out at $3000 ? Hawker Centre is build in State land with tax money. The stalls are for citizens to sell low cost, affordable food. Why must Govt make money? Instead of wasting money on Generals, you rather give it to where it matters.

      People like you easily relent. That’s why this elites pigs milking us. Don’t be so gullible and narrow minded.

  3. I’ve always supported the practise of clearing the food tray after yourself. BUT I’m pissed that someone sees fit to make me pay if I don’t. I was hoping this paternalistic fine-based approach was behind us. Sadly it’s not!

  4. Freddie Kee you must b kidding. U must b out of your cotton picken mind. You’ve got a lot of money huh. We should do it automatically unless you are handicapped. Gees

  5. please lah, how many of these hawker centres are being maintained by the gov and later how many of those food courts were also operated by GLCs, go and do the numbers, these kind of beggar money they also want to suck from you patrons….I think SG is really going downhill liao….

  6. Keep on implementing rules to increase operating cost of Hawkers which subsequently pass on to customers, finally raising the cost of living. Is it necessary to have centralised dish washinh

    • Sam Chan
      If the food is taken away than fine. If consumed there, there need a clearing system. Styrofoam boxes are very bad for environment. Even the LDP plastic plates are difficult to recycle. Unless they force to introduce environment friendly plates which are there but cost more. If they reduce rents and force to use such plates n spoons why not? This guys want easy money. They are not ready to open their purse. Blame who? It’s their supporters who fxxxx us.

  7. I’m just wondering, why every time they want to implement changes that require charging us money, no need to prepare us first… just straightaway dump the new system and everyone has no say at all…. what kind of democracy do we live in??
    What does democracy mean?
    Please don’t make democracy in Singapore a farce!
    A lot of people are losing faith in how our country is being run…
    will there be a SG100?? 48yrs from now I should be 88yrs old if I survive till then… but my son and daughter will only be about 50… do they need to become refugees or try to become Indonesian or Malaysian to survive?

  8. Problem start Mary go round, charge > food price up > less customers> income drop> govt can’t tax > govt up gst > citizens Tighten belts > no business > no tax revenue > govt collapse…..

  9. That little old person who used to earn a few dollars collecting used dishes and cutlery and cleaning the tables has just lost their job, the job they wake up to do every morning, the job that gave them some extra pocket money so they don’t have to beg from their children.

  10. The spirit behind this stupid policy is all abt $$, productivity my ass!!! The thing they can think of to squeeze $$ out of us!!! Bloody blood suckers!!!! Pls burn in hell!!! Dun take tray lor. Later they will come out and play good man to prevent some hawkers for overcharging. Think of those old folks, having to pay such ridiculous $$ for a simple meal!!!! Bastards!!!

  11. And im wondering is there a way to ensure full attendance at the Parliament House ? Or whenever someone from the ministry fxxks up , a fine of 10% of their salary is imposed…..
    If KBW can walks away Scott free for a series of cocks up with even involve 2 lives lost , I don’t see an reason for us to be held accountable for not returning trays . Ultimately , we ain’t paid a millions of dollars ?

  12. Why should we pay when this govt charge gst for basic food items? Even poorer neighbour don’t charge gst for basic items. Why in Singapore the govt can’t relief? You charge, because sinkies are idiots, fine. Use that money to wash. Stop sucking our blood.

  13. I don’t mind to return tray .are hawkers will pay cheaper money for collecting plate service? They are pay them thousand of dollars . I all boycott this type of hawkers centre and will see howthe middle man make easy money.If they success on this policy many other departments will follow

  14. The customers are at the receiving end to pay n pay. Just give these Hawker centres a miss; cook your own food for healthy choices n save costs. Definitely do it yourself is good for body n mind.

  15. Good…less people will eat at hawker center…more people will eat at foodcourt and coffeeshop…that is what gov want…no chance to eat cheaper food in singapore..

  16. I wonder how many Singaporeans are aware that most hawker centres are now managed by NTUC? Since then all kind of problem surfaced and the only solution offered is pay and pay. This is how stupid our Singapore leadership is – no real solution but just get the people to pay.

  17. Well just don’t take the tray from that stall. Bukit Merah market already started however not much participate it. No matter what there’s still cleaner clearing the table. Only when tray return to designated booth machine than refund $1 will be returned to customer

  18. It is a sad day for Singapore… Only innovation for implementing new initiative is money. Not sure anyone every being ‘told-off’ by those uncles and aunty for returning utensils to the station after used. I faced it quite frequently but I persisted doing it. Maybe G should start a reward system as a conditioner to change behaviour.

  19. Hawkers are struggling to make ends meet. Hesistant to increase price but smaller portion of food. Now extra burden on what washing sysem lah. Mosr are not using the cashless system already.

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