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Recycling Saves Mother Earth

This is a follow up of the article ‘Increased Plastic Pollution Amidst the Pandemic’. 

A topic that never expires is the importance of recycling. No matter which part of the globe one is living in, recycling will always be a crucial practice. However, although there are several ways to dispose of recyclables, it is often deemed an inconvenient task by many of us. 

According to Solid Waste Management and Public Cleansing Corporation (SWCorp Malaysia) contributing to the poor consciousness towards recycling among Malaysians is the lack of knowledge and concern for the environment. Many find it hard to engage in recycling behaviour. One of the many hindrances is the inconvenience and lack of access as people often have to personally bring their collected recyclables to the designated area or strategic locations, which could involve a bit of a trek. The second reason is that they don’t feel rewarded for all their efforts.  

Nevertheless, it remains important to inculcate the habit of recycling among the community. One can start by separating their household waste into dry waste and wet waste. Why? Waste segregation ensures recyclables are processed in the right way and that they are reused when making new products. It can significantly reduce landfill waste and incineration of residual waste which can be potentially hazardous to the environment, marine lives as well as public health.

Recyclables can be dropped off at your nearest recycling centers or 3R (reduce, reuse, recycle) bins. Recyclable items include newspapers, aluminium cans, papers, cardboards, plastic bottles, glass containers among others. 

The colour-coded recycling bins include brown (glass), blue (paper) and orange (aluminium tins, steel tins, plastics). Each colour represents different uses. 

Brown: Glass – All coloured and non-coloured glass such as soft drink bottles, food containers, vitamin bottles and cosmetic bottles. 

Not including: Crystal, mirrors, window glasses, vehicle screens, porcelain, ceramic, metal, lab items and jars or toxic glass bottles.

Blue: Paper – All coloured and non-coloured paper such as newspapers, magazines, books, catalogue sheets, brochures, calendars, cars, envelopes and cardboard boxes.

Not including: Tissue paper, carbon paper, baking sheets/aluminium, laminated paper and dirty paper

Orange: Aluminium tins, steel tins, plastics – All kinds of aluminium and steel tins such as soft drink cans and food product tins. All coloured and non-coloured tins such as shopping bags, bottle drinks, mineral bottles, food containers, detergent bottles and vitamin bottles.

Not including: Paint tins, toxic containers, lab items and styrofoam containers.

 

Do you know batteries are not to be placed together with our daily waste? According to a study, they are made from materials like lead, acid, nickel, cadmium, mercury and alkaline which, if not properly disposed of, can release toxic chemicals that contaminate the soil and water, and the elements can accumulate in wildlife and humans. 

How to dispose of batteries? 

For those who don’t know how to properly discard used household batteries, you can bring them to the government recycling center in exchange for money or points. Examples of domestic batteries are AAA, AA, 9 volts and lantern batteries—many of which we use for electronic gadgets such as TV remote, toys and digital cameras. 

 

By the way, donating old clothes is also a form of recycling. Instead of throwing them away, consider donating clothes that are still in good condition to orphanages or senior homes near you.

One can drop off their recyclables at New Hope Charitable Organisation (012-4826833), EverLantern Sdn Bhd (05-2861350) and Jaya Hijau Enterprise (05-2428079). 

One can also drop off their e-waste such as batteries, old appliances, sofas and TV at recycling centers listed in the Department of Environment (DOE) Malaysia to collect points or at local phone centers that accept used electronics such as old phones and cables. 

 

Gisele Soo

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