The Star Malaysia

Low awareness on recycling among Malaysians


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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