For bus cleaners, it's a dog's life sometimes

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 12 February, 2008, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 12 February, 2008, 12:00am

Lunar New Year fair cleaners may have had to pick up 460 tonnes of rubbish dumped by revellers this year. But spare a thought for what bus cleaners have to contend with.

According to a survey by the New World First Bus group - which also owns Citybus - cleaners of their 1,600 buses had to pick up 548 tonnes of rubbish last year, weighing the equivalent of 35 double-deckers.

And the items discarded by New World's 1.1 million passengers every day did not include just the usual newspapers, half-finished soft-drink cans and plastic bags. The cleaners also had to deal with dog food, pet rats and even a well-dressed dog in a backpack.

New World First Bus senior public relations officer Beatrice Wong said staff considered live creatures 'lost property' rather than rubbish, although not all owners claimed them back.

'We take good care of them in the office, but if no one claims them, we send them to the SPCA,' she said.

Lost or abandoned animals received by the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals are put down within weeks if no one claims them.

Ms Wong said the company was able to find the owner of the mislaid canine because the backpack also contained her address.

'My colleagues told me she did not seem to be particularly glad to get her dog back, though.'