Chinese Sanitation Worker Squats to Scrape Gum Off Ground

A Chinese female sanitation worker scraping gum off the floor of an airport in China.

The following was yesterday’s most popular microblog post on the Sina Weibo social network, reshared over 180k times with over 30k upvotes and 20k comments spanning over 1100 pages…

From Sina Weibo:

@人民日报 [The People’s Daily]: A Piece of Gum Made This Sanitation Auntie Squat for 15 Minutes – Several days ago, a Shandong passenger at the airport saw a touching scene: In order to clean up a piece of chewing gum on the ground, a 54-year-old sanitation worker auntie squat on the ground using a razor blade to scrape it off bit by bit for no less than 15 minutes. In less than a second, a piece of gum can be thrown onto the floor, and she has to squat down every day dozens of times every day to clean them up. From this day forward, I will not litter my trash, and by passing this on, I make this promise.

A Chinese female sanitation worker scraping gum off the floor of an airport in China.

Comments from Sina Weibo:


Character should begin first with civil servants.


[din推撞] We should all respect public ethics/civic virtue!!


To respect others is to respect oneself.


Can you promise not to lie?


When I throw away my chewing gum in the trash, I always wrap it in a piece of napkin/tissue.


Denounce uncivilized behavior!


Civilization begins with you and me…


I hope everyone can maintain good sanitation and not litter as they please!


Good social civility begins with what is around us, begins right now!


It wasn’t me.


The punishment for uncivilized behavior is too light, we should first talk about establishing standards before talking about morality/ethics.


What was spit out was chewing gum but what was lost was character and civility! It starts with every individual, to make a civilized and harmonious society!


I’ve always thought it strange why there are people who throw away gum wherever they please. After chewing gum, you should use a piece of paper to wrap it up. Isn’t this like flushing after using the toilet, something that is necessary [obvious]?

柚子油油油: (responding to above)

Too many ignorant people.


Next time organize dedicated personnel to punish such evil people. Every time they litter chewed gum, they must scrape up 5 pieces of chewing gum and stick it in their asshole. Immediate effectiveness.


Touching? This is touching? This is an embarrassment of our countrymen’s characters!


Ding! I trust those who see this weibo post will no longer have this uncivilized behavior.


It takes The People’s Daily 15 minutes to write an editorial and just one minute to be criticized for it.


If you have to chew gum, don’t rush to throw away the wrapper, hang onto it to wrap up the gum after chewing it, and then throw it into the trash can.


When discarding chewing gum, remember to wrap it in paper before throwing it away. I remember I once bought a Japanese brand of chewing gum and and inside some small slips of paper were provided, specifically for wrapping [the chewed gum] before discarding. What more, one side was glossy and the other side was rough, the glossy side wrapping the gum making it easier to separate when recycling. They [Japanese people] put a lot of thought into this [which is to be admired].


I thought there would be people questioning if scraping off a piece of gum really needs 15 minutes, and whether or not she’s being lazy? What do you think?


If people didn’t litter, then the auntie would have no job.


Chinese people’s character truly need to be raised. In the future, we can copy Singapore, prohibit the sale of chewing gum, or use a real-name registration for sales, in order to regulate it/manage the problem!


Everyone, when throwing your trash, think of the sanitation workers. Once I had thrown a ball of paper into the middle of the road and then saw a sanitation worker ride a small electric moped into the constant flow of traffic just to pick it up. From that point on, I never littered ever again. If I litter, a sanitation worker might suffer an accident just to pick it up… Don’t do something bad just because the harm is small.


We should all consider what trouble our own actions bring to other people.

Written by Fauna

Fauna is a mysterious young Shanghainese girl who lives in the only place a Shanghainese person would ever want to live: Shanghai. In mid-2008, she started chinaSMACK to combine her hobby of browsing Chinese internet forums with her goal of improving her English. Through her tireless translation of popular Chinese internet news and phenomenon, her English has apparently gotten dramatically better. At least, reading and writing-wise. Unfortunately, she's still not confident enough to have written this bio, about herself, by herself.


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