The first 2 hawker centres to implement this charge are Marsiling Mall Hawker Centre and Bukit Merah Hawker Centre, after they introduced an “automated tray return system” (ATRS) and centralised dishwashing services (CDW).
Customers currently pay a tray deposit of S$0.50 and S$1, respectively, at these hawker centres when they buy their food.
The deposit is refunded when they return their trays at the ATRS.
Hawkers are charged for the CDW services according to the amount of crockery and cutlery they use each day.
The National Environment Agency (NEA) will pay for up to 70 percent of operating costs for 2 years to “encourage” hawkers to use the CDW service.
The ATRS and CDW services are part of the recommendations by the Hawker Centre 3.0 Committee.
The aim of those initiatives is to reduce hawkers’ workload, boost productivity in the face of manpower challenges, and “encourage” customers to return their trays.