Volunteer groups have joined hands to clean up large piles of trash on Mong Kok’s streets, left behind from consecutive nights of street food markets on the first three days of Lunar New Year.

Photo: Shot Outside via Facebook.

Over the holidays, many social media users posted photographs of waste in areas such as Portland Street, criticising market-goers for throwing their disposable containers onto the pavement.

“Since the ‘Fishball Revolution‘, the government has turned a blind eye to [street hawkers] during New Year in Mong Kok,” wrote Shot Outside, a group of anonymous reporters. “But if you head down to Mong Kok, you will see that Hong Kong does not deserve a night market.”

“There are half-metre-high piles of wooden sticks, paper bags and plastic bowls on the pavements next to the shops. Some pedestrians just throw their rubbish on the floor after eating, and continue looking for street food.”

Photo: Shot Outside via Facebook.

“You take some selfies and post them on Facebook and Instagram… but afterwards it’s not you who cleans up – you’re giving the trouble to cleaning workers,” wrote Facebook user Kawan Leung in a viral post. “You’re on holiday but they have even more work.”

On the third night of Lunar New Year, groups of volunteers went to assist cleaning-up operations in Mong Kok, working from 1am to 4am.

Photo: Fixing HK via Facebook.

Volunteer group Fixing HK wrote that cleaning workers had already prepared more rubbish bins, while some street hawkers recycled their waste.

The group called on future market-goers to either take disposable containers to bins further away before disposing of them, or bring their own cutlery and containers.

Photo: Fixing HK via Facebook.

“Street markets are a very meaningful local activity, but participants cannot shirk from their responsibilities.”

“You can’t fight for the markets but then manage them poorly. The government and politicians will then criticise you and suppress [the street markets], right?”

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Elson Tong

Elson Tong is a graduate of international relations and former investigations consultant. He has also written for Stand News.