Getting diners to clear their tables without trays

What a refreshing change to encourage tray-return ("No reason not to return your trays at this food centre"; July 4).

Other food centres could use this food centre as a model to encourage diners to return their trays.

From my observation at food centres and coffee shops, it seems that quite a number of diners feel that food trays are an impediment to their wrists and elbows while they are eating. Others feel that the confined space of a tray restricts their movement.

Hence, they unload their plates and bowls before eating and place the trays on an empty table.

The cleaners naturally remove the trays so as to allow others to use the empty tables.

Since the trays have already been cleared, the diners do not bother to return their crockery to the tray-return stations after finishing their meals.

To encourage this category of diners to do so, perhaps the cleaners who are on their rounds to collect soiled crockery could politely ask them whether they are done. If so, the cleaners could clear them, leaving a lighter load such as cups and saucers, if they are having a drink. It would definitely be a much lighter load, making it easier for the trip to the tray stations.

In this connection, it is worth noting the leftover food and dirty dishes which are left behind, especially in the later part of the evening, when the cleaners would have completed their day's duties. This results in a mess on each table for those who turn up for breakfast the next morning.

To make matters worse, mynahs invade food centres and coffee shops as early as 6.30am, potentially spreading diseases with their droppings.

Everyone has a part to play.

Food operators must ensure that leftovers are cleared quickly. Town councils have to step up tree pruning, and rubbish bins at food centres should be tightly secured to avoid food spillage.

Andrew Seow Chwee Guan