Time to put the conservative mindset to bed and make way for a positive start.
Many of us often underestimate the impact of recycling, hence contributing to the low recycling rate in our country.
Go GreenPerak City Recycling Center president Victor Chew said there is very little active participation of the public in Perak, especially the older generation who tend to have a dismissive attitude towards the topic.
The recycling spirit is significantly related to household waste disposal practices; if one doesn’t have the right knowledge, they certainly will not have the right attitude. For instance, most households just toss their recyclables in the bin without sorting them out.
The most common and legitimate excuse that inhibits the recycling attitude is that they are too busy to recycle, or there’s simply no space to stash the recyclables materials. It is inconvenient to drop off recyclable trash at the center, and washing and cleaning out the plastic containers may prove laborious.
“If they have to send it to a recycling center, more than 75 percent won’t do it, even if there is a law requiring them to do so,” Victor said.
The absence of knowledge also plays a part in the nonchalant attitude. People are either misinformed or unaware about the effects of overloading waste in landfills and how it can contaminate the environment and leave a hazardous impact on earth.
However, the young ones appear to exhibit more enthusiasm towards recycling, turning their millennial energy to good use by raising awareness on environmental concerns. Collecting and processing used materials are quite popular among students, and hopefully they will lead the way and make change for a better future.
“A recycling mindset must be instilled in schools. For a start, employ proper solid waste separation and separate the recyclables and non-recyclables, then we need to enforce specific segregation of recyclables in time to come,” he said.
Victor suggested that we should provide incentives to those who send their waste for recycling to encourage the behaviour.
“People couldn’t care less to protect our fast degrading environment as they are not aware of the danger of pollution. Besides, the distant location of the recycling centers is not encouraging.
“More than 75 percent of waste is reusable and recyclable. And it produces less energy to convert recycled materials into new products than to create them from raw materials.
“Local authorities can consider giving a one to five percent discount on assessment rate for homes that bring in an average of 60kg of recyclables per year. They must be sent to a designated centre where the recyclables can be checked and verified and added into the record of the assessment payer’s account,” Victor highlighted.
He added that apart from helping to minimise pollution, Go GreenPerak City collects and sells waste items to keep the business afloat, and the profit they make goes into the Gift Food Programme to feed the needy in Kg Pasir Pinji.
“We also hope to encourage students to come and learn about recycling by helping to sort them.”
Anyone who would like to learn more about recycling can drop by and volunteer at the Go GreenPerak City Recycling Center at 1269, Jalan Pasir Pinji, Ipoh. Volunteering work is welcomed on weekends at 10am.