Pay Per Entry Public Toilet: How Much Can The Toilet Uncle/ Auntie Make From Collecting 20 Cents Entrance Fee?
What’s worse than running into a paid toilet when having diarrhoea? Running into a pay toilet and with only a $50 dollar note in your wallet.
It happened to me once. After I was done with my business, I exited the toilet, only to receive $49.80 worth of coins. Mostly, in 10 cents denomination.
TL;DR – How Much Does Toilet Attendants (Toilet Uncles/Aunties) Make Per Month?
This article is born out of frustration from having to lug those coins around for the rest of the day.
Here’s what it feels like, walking around with those coins in my pocket.
What started out as a search for an explanation on how ridiculous it is to be paying for toilet usage, turns out to be more than meets the eye.
Toilet attendant is a job created to help needy elderly Singaporeans earn some income. A job that will slowly disappear with the advancement in technology and the rate at which the industry gets commercialized.
Pay Toilets In Singapore: Paying 10 Cents To 20 Cents Per Entry
The photo was taken at People’s Park Complex Food Centre when I was there for Ma La Xiang Guo.
Depending on the usual places you visit, toilets managed by an elderly can be a common scene in Singapore. They usually charge an entry fee of 10 to 20 cents and an additional 30 cents for a packet of tissue or toilet paper. Most toilets in Singapore are actually free to use.
Why Do Pay Toilets Even Exist In Singapore?
Like many Singaporeans, we wonder why pay toilets even exist. With Singaporeans having access to free toilets almost everywhere, we wonder how long more before pay toilet joins the Stegosaurus fossil at the museum.
Here’s what we found out about public toilets:
- Hawker centres and wet markets are usually managed by the National Environment Agency (NEA), but not the public toilets.
- The responsibilities of these public toilets fall on the shoulders of the respective Town Council, coffee shop owners or shopping malls owners.
Given that it is a legal requirement for all the public toilets in Singapore to uphold certain standards of cleanliness and to provide adequate toilet facilities, here are a few ways which public toilet owners can go about with the maintenance of their toilets.
- Hiring a contractor or cleaning company to maintain the toilet
- Getting a toilet attendant (toilet uncle or auntie)
How Does Toilet Attendant (Toilet Uncle or Auntie) Make Money?
Source: Flickr, Felix Chia
Some town councils use this as a platform to provide jobs opportunities to elderly in the estate which can really use some help financially.
With that, here’s how toilet caretakers make money:
- Toilet caretakers are paid a monthly salary by the toilet owner to ensure that the toilet is up to standard.
- The entry fees collected go to the toilet uncles and aunties.
- To maximise revenue collected, most of these toilets now do not provide complimentary toilet paper. They can purchase it from the toilet caretaker at a price.
While these toilet caretakers can keep all the income from the entry fee and the sales of toilet paper, they are responsible for some of the costs. The amount they collected will be used to pay for:
- The cost price of the tissue paper and toilet paper that they are selling.
- Liquid soap for the public
- Payment of utilities
- Cost of maintaining the toilet, such as soap to clean the toilet
This got us thinking about the amount they can possibly make.
Here are some assumptions we make with regards to the calculation:
- The monthly salary varies according, from owners to owners. It ranges to as low as $400 to $1,300 per month.
- We assumed a coffee shop with a capacity of 50pax with a 10% chance of people visiting the toilet every hour. The entry fee is 20 cents.
- Assuming for each toilet visit, the patron flushes once, which uses up 1.6 gallons of water per flush.
- The toilet caretaker is at the coffee shop from 8am to 8pm.
- The toilet caretaker uses the cheapest 3 Litre floor cleaner from NTUC Fairprice (Budget Floor Cleaner at $3.95 for 3 Litre). He will need 10 of these every month.
|Factors Affecting Income||How Much?||How Much Per Month?|
|Salary per month||-||$400 - $1,300|
|Toilet entry fee||$12 per day|
(8am to 8pm)
|Cost of soap||- $3.95|
|Water bill||- $0.017 per flush||- $30.60|
|Total Salary Per Month: $689.90 - $1,589.90|
Legal Requirements For Public Toilets
Fun fact! It is a legal requirement for all the public toilets in Singapore to adhere to a set of guidelines set by the National Environment Agency (NEA). These requirements are in place to ensure that most of Singapore’s toilet meets a certain standard.
Here are some of the requirements.
Requirements With Regards To The Facilities Of Public Toilets
Public toilets are supposed to be equipped with basic toilet amenities. Here are some of the recommended guidelines:
- An adequate supply of liquid soap and paper towels (if provided for) at all times.
- An adequate supply of toilet paper in cubicles.
- Enough litter bins inside toilets.
- Hand dryers are to be as close to the basins as possible.
- Sanitary disposal bin in each female toilet cubicle.
- Well-ventilated toilets.
- Any mechanical ventilation system used should be cleaned and serviced regularly.
- Air deodorisers and sanitisers for toilet and urinal bowls are encouraged.
Requirements With Regards To Proper Cleaning And Maintenance Of Public Toilets
Public toilets need to have a proper schedule with regards to their maintenance. Here are some of the cleaning and maintenance guidelines:
- Toilet facilities to be in good working order.
- Keep toilets clean, floor to be dry, at all times.
- Toilet bowls, urinals, and basins to be cleaned and sanitised.
- Clean mirrors, doorknobs, and any other surfaces where there is contact with toilet users.
- Spot-clean walls, ledges, vents, and partitions.
- Ensure no leak in sanitary pipes, especially at the joints.
- Any leaks or defects should be rectified immediately.
- Inspection card to monitor the daily maintenance of the toilet.
- Increase the frequency of cleaning during peak hours
Recommended Frequency Of Cleaning Of Public Toilets By NEA
|Where is the public toilet located||Frequency of cleaning|
|Light industry building||Once or twice a day|
|Condominium||Twice a day and increase to four times a day on weekends|
|Office building||four to five times a day|
|Hotel||six times a day|
|Shopping centre||six to eight times a day|
|Hawker centre||One- to two-hourly cleaning during non-peak hours, every half-hour cleaning during peak hours|
Source of the above information: National Environment Agency (NEA)