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Singapore’s ‘Happy Toilets’: Find out which hawker centre loos are the cleanest, Environment News & Top Stories

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Clean, dry floors void of shoe track marks. A sink area with functioning taps and filled soap dispensers. A brightly-lit and well-ventilated space. And is that foliage in the corner?

While all these might sound like features of restrooms in places like hotels, shopping centres and the airport, surprise, surprise — they are actually that of the restrooms in some hawker centres and food centres across Singapore. 

According to the Happy Toilet Programme, there are over 1,300 public toilets in Singapore that have been recognised as a “Happy Toilet”, of which more than 50 reside in popular markets and food centres with high footfall, such as Amoy Food Centre and Maxwell Food Centre.

Some of these, like the toilets at Serangoon Garden Market and East Coast Lagoon Food Village, have even been awarded a five-star rating each (of which three stars is the minimum and six is the highest honour), higher than their counterparts located at shopping malls.

The Happy Toilet Programme is a star-grading initiative by the Restroom Association of Singapore (RAS) and supported by the National Environment Agency (NEA) to recognise toilets that score top points in the areas of design, cleanliness, effectiveness, maintenance and user satisfaction.

Ever used a restroom that you’ve been pleasantly surprised by? It’s probably been recognised as a Happy Toilet. 

A bulk of these certified-clean toilets are located at train stations and bus interchanges. Hardly the place that most people would rush to even when nature calls.

Hard work behind the scenes

All this, of course, is made possible by a slew of initiatives that ensure that public toilets provide a pleasant user experience and meet the strictest public health requirements.

For example, public toilets have to adhere to the NEA’s Code of Practice on Environmental Health, which contains information on the essential design criteria of public toilets that makes maintenance easier, can help shape user behaviour, and in general, help keep toilets clean.

These basic requirements — such as the need to keep toilets ventilated and the provision of liquid soaps and hand dryers — are further supplemented by RAS’ A Guide to Better Public Toilet Design and Maintenance, which outlines the ways vendors can take these standards up a notch, such as providing suitable air freshener and ‘looscaping’ to enhance the ambience of the space through wall pictures and plants.

To help improve the cleanliness of toilets at coffee shops and hawker centres in particular, NEA’s Toilet Improvement Programme, launched late last year, helps to co-fund up to 90 per cent of improvement works to toilets in these premises.

A complimentary toilet cleaner training programme, which includes a toilet cleanliness assessment component and equips cleaners with the relevant know-how to keep toilets in top condition, encourages coffee shop operators to take steps in ramping up toilet cleanliness standards.

The golden rules of toilet usage

But as we all know, there is only so much these initiatives can accomplish without the support of their most important stakeholder: you.

In an era where personal hygiene is more critical than ever, there is a need for hygiene habits to become second nature. Just as we all now subconsciously pick up a mask before we leave our homes and wash our hands with soap or disinfectant before we start a meal, the same should apply to our behaviours outside the home, including the usage of public toilets.

Simply remember the golden rules of toilet usage: flush fully, keep toilet seats clean, bin litter properly, and keep the floor dry. Essentially, treat these public toilets how you would your own home toilet, so you, and everyone else sharing the same space, can feel safe as you do at home.

After all, a Happy Toilet would make for a pleasant user experience for everyone.

Learn more about NEA’s Public Toilet Cleanliness Campaign here.




Clean, dry floors void of shoe track marks. A sink area with functioning taps and filled soap dispensers. A brightly-lit and well-ventilated space. And is that foliage in the corner?

While all these might sound like features of restrooms in places like hotels, shopping centres and the airport, surprise, surprise — they are actually that of the restrooms in some hawker centres and food centres across Singapore. 

According to the Happy Toilet Programme, there are over 1,300 public toilets in Singapore that have been recognised as a “Happy Toilet”, of which more than 50 reside in popular markets and food centres with high footfall, such as Amoy Food Centre and Maxwell Food Centre.

Some of these, like the toilets at Serangoon Garden Market and East Coast Lagoon Food Village, have even been awarded a five-star rating each (of which three stars is the minimum and six is the highest honour), higher than their counterparts located at shopping malls.

The Happy Toilet Programme is a star-grading initiative by the Restroom Association of Singapore (RAS) and supported by the National Environment Agency (NEA) to recognise toilets that score top points in the areas of design, cleanliness, effectiveness, maintenance and user satisfaction.

Ever used a restroom that you’ve been pleasantly surprised by? It’s probably been recognised as a Happy Toilet. 

A bulk of these certified-clean toilets are located at train stations and bus interchanges. Hardly the place that most people would rush to even when nature calls.

Hard work behind the scenes

All this, of course, is made possible by a slew of initiatives that ensure that public toilets provide a pleasant user experience and meet the strictest public health requirements.

For example, public toilets have to adhere to the NEA’s Code of Practice on Environmental Health, which contains information on the essential design criteria of public toilets that makes maintenance easier, can help shape user behaviour, and in general, help keep toilets clean.

These basic requirements — such as the need to keep toilets ventilated and the provision of liquid soaps and hand dryers — are further supplemented by RAS’ A Guide to Better Public Toilet Design and Maintenance, which outlines the ways vendors can take these standards up a notch, such as providing suitable air freshener and ‘looscaping’ to enhance the ambience of the space through wall pictures and plants.

To help improve the cleanliness of toilets at coffee shops and hawker centres in particular, NEA’s Toilet Improvement Programme, launched late last year, helps to co-fund up to 90 per cent of improvement works to toilets in these premises.

A complimentary toilet cleaner training programme, which includes a toilet cleanliness assessment component and equips cleaners with the relevant know-how to keep toilets in top condition, encourages coffee shop operators to take steps in ramping up toilet cleanliness standards.

The golden rules of toilet usage

But as we all know, there is only so much these initiatives can accomplish without the support of their most important stakeholder: you.

In an era where personal hygiene is more critical than ever, there is a need for hygiene habits to become second nature. Just as we all now subconsciously pick up a mask before we leave our homes and wash our hands with soap or disinfectant before we start a meal, the same should apply to our behaviours outside the home, including the usage of public toilets.

Simply remember the golden rules of toilet usage: flush fully, keep toilet seats clean, bin litter properly, and keep the floor dry. Essentially, treat these public toilets how you would your own home toilet, so you, and everyone else sharing the same space, can feel safe as you do at home.

After all, a Happy Toilet would make for a pleasant user experience for everyone.

Learn more about NEA’s Public Toilet Cleanliness Campaign here.

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