Much has been said about why people are still reluctant to return their trays to tray stations ("No reason not to return your trays at this food centre"; July 4). One key factor could be dirty trays.
Most, if not all, of the trays at food centres appear to be dirty. I often see cleaners knocking off food from the trays into the bins, giving them a superficial wipe, and eventually returning them to the respective stalls.
I doubt if most are washed. The stains, oil and small pieces of leftover food stuck in the grooves or cracks of the trays can be unappetising as well as unhygienic.
Thus, many diners may prefer to remove the plates or bowls from the trays before eating.
If this is the case, it requires more effort to return the trays - one needs to put back the utensils on the tray, then clear the spilt or leftover food and tissue papers from the table onto the tray.
How many can be bothered to do so?
Perhaps the Government could start a campaign to replace all hawker trays with the smooth stainless-steel type. Such trays are used commonly in many Western countries.
Also, make it compulsory for food operators to wash their trays before using them again.
This may be a way to ensure tray usage and return.
Yeo Eng Chin