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Patrons can also help to mitigate bird-related issues at hawker centres

06 Jun 2022

Reader's letter:
"Bird infestation in hawker centres waiting to be resolved", Li Zi’an, Lianhe Zaobao, 2 Jun 2022

Discussion points:
Authorities must find sustainable solutions to bird-related issues at hawker centres

NEA's reply:

This is a full version of NEA’s reply issued to the media agency; published in Lianhe Zaobao, 8 Jun 2022.

Patrons can also help to mitigate bird-related issues at hawker centres

We agree with Mr Li Zi’an (“Bird infestation in hawker centres waiting to be resolved”, 2 Jun) on the need to deal with occurrence of bird-related issues at hawker centres. The Town Councils and National Environment Agency (NEA) have undertaken several bird prevention measures, such as installing bird spikes and stainless steel nylon-coated wire at some hawker centres, to prevent birds from perching on the ceiling beams, other overhead structures and surfaces. Where the layout allows for it, the Town Councils and NEA have also progressively installed anti-bird netting at hawker centres. NEA is also progressively installing anti-bird netting at identified tray and crockery return racks.

Bird spikes have been mounted at the three hawker centres in Telok Blangah and three hawker centres in Clementi. At the hawker centre at Block 353 Clementi Avenue 2, the Town Council has additionally fitted bird prevention stainless steel nylon-coated wire. Anti-bird netting has also been placed around the hawker centre at Block 79 Telok Blangah Drive and the tray and crockery return racks in the hawker centres at Block 11 Telok Blangah Crescent and Block 36 Telok Blangah Rise. Similar measures will be introduced progressively at Block 448 Clementi Avenue 3.

These measures will reduce but may not eliminate bird nuisance at hawker centres unless patrons and stakeholders also play their part. The most important measure is to reduce food source, as the easy availability of food scraps attract birds. To address this, NEA has been working together with the Town Councils, Hawkers’ Associations, stallholders and cleaning contractors to manage waste properly and discourage littering. This serves to keep premises clean and reduce food sources for birds. 

Patrons can help by returning their used crockery and trays and keep the tables clean for the next patron. This allows the cleaners to focus on emptying the tray and crockery return racks and wiping tables. Hawker centres with high tray and crockery return rates by patrons have experienced fewer cases of feedback on bird nuisance.

Hawker centres are a significant and an iconic part of our nation and continues to be an enduring part of life in Singapore. NEA seeks strong support from our stakeholders, and above all, the cooperation of all patrons to keep hawker centres clean and reduce the incidence of bird nuisance.

Andrew Low
Group Director, Hawker Centres Group
National Environment Agency