Low aware­ness on re­cy­cling among Malaysians

The Star Malaysia - - Focus -

AWARE­NESS in re­duc­ing house­hold waste through re­cy­cling is still low among Malaysians, says Solid Waste Man­age­ment and Pub­lic Cleans­ing Cor­po­ra­tion (SWCorp Malaysia).

SWCorp deputy chief ex­ec­u­tive of­fi­cer (tech­ni­cal) Dr Mohd Pauze Mo­hamad Taha said that the re­cy­cling rate in Malaysia last year is only 17.5% de­spite in­tro­duc­ing the waste seg­re­ga­tion pro­gramme.

“This shows that there is still a large por­tion of solid waste be­ing dis­posed in land­fills and not de­vi­ated to re­cy­cle,” he says.

It also means that Malaysia is very much be­hind com­pared with a num­ber of de­vel­oped coun­tries.

A Euro­pean En­vi­ron­ment Agency 2013 re­port re­vealed that re­cy­cling rates are high­est in Aus­tria at 63%, fol­lowed by Ger­many (62%), Bel­gium (58%),the Nether­lands (51%) and Switzer­land (51%).

Dr Mohd Pauze said the rea­son for the low re­cy­cling rate is due to a “much lower” level of aware­ness on the 3Rs: Re­duce, Re­use and Re­cy­cle here.

“To ad­dress this prob­lem, SWCorp be­lieves that pub­lic knowl­edge and aware­ness of 3R should be en­hanced from time to time es­pe­cially the im­por­tance of im­ple­ment­ing 3R and solid waste seg­re­ga­tion,” he says.

He says SWCorp is now un­der­tak­ing var­i­ous pub­lic aware­ness cam­paigns at schools and ex­tra-cur­ric­u­lar clubs.

“We have pro­gramme with schools, kinder­gartens and also re­cy­cling mod­ules for teach­ers to pro­mote re­cy­cling ac­tiv­i­ties,” Dr Mohd Pauze says.

“Re­cy­cling pro­grammes are be­ing done along with Sep­a­ra­tion at Source ini­tia­tives,” he adds.

SWCorp is also pro­vid­ing talks and ex­hi­bi­tions to other tar­get groups such as those in col­leges and uni­ver­si­ties, the pri­vate sec­tor and non-gov­ern­men­tal or­gan­i­sa­tions.

Pub­lic ac­cess to re­cy­cling fa­cil­i­ties is also some­thing SWCorp is striv­ing to im­prove.

Dr Mohd Pauze says that ac­cess will be made more con­ve­nient by pro­vid­ing re­cy­cling cages in non-landed hous­ing ar­eas and en­forc­ing “Sep­a­ra­tion at Source” for states that im­ple­ment waste seg­re­ga­tion.

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