Tuesday, July 1, 2008

A letter to the Municipal Council (MPSJ)

As I accumulate all the recyclables that I can, I wondered whether if it would be a lot easier to have a community recycle bins nearby, especially at my apartment area. I also considered the potential of the 'wet' food waste that could be good compost fertilizers. The only problem is space. Having to live in a compact apartment makes my salvation to the environment, almost impossible!!!. So I wrote to MPSJ, thanks to their helpful website. I made a suggestion that there should be some recycle bins at my apartment and there should be a separation between the 'wet' rubbish and the 'dry' ones. If the rubbish are separated, then waste management would be easier to be handled. The 'wet' rubbish could be collected to make compost while the 'dry' ones could be sorted out for recycling. I had that idea when I was watching TV the other day about waste management on a talk show with Aziz Desa. The guest , an officer from waste management company said that if the household waste are mixed together, then it would be very impossible to separate the recyclables from the non-recyclables. Even the 'wet' rubbish could be separated to organics such as food waste from the non-organics like medicine or toxic waste. It sounded so simple, right? So with that suggestion to the municipal council, I waited impatiently for their reply-hoping that maybe they have some sort of program that are already running that I didn't know of. Three days later, I received not e-mail but snail mail from the public relations of MPSJ. The letter was very brief.

It wrote:

"For your information, the council have already provided recycle bins in places nearby your area, like the one near the park. You may send the recyclables to those places. For making compost, you do not need a big area to work with but you can create compost in garden pots or plastic bags."

I was not satisfied by the reply. Yeah, they did answered my queries, but it didn't solve the problem. The recycle bins are a 5km away! I want it to be just below my apartment so that everyone in the neighbourhood could do their part. Another thing is, I am not interested in making compost, I am interested in giving away my fresh organic food waste to some garden nursery or anyone that would want to make compost. Rather than throwing it all away to the landfill and promote toxic gas emissions. By that letter, I was a little disappointed that the council did not show any extra effort on assisting their fellow residents that are offering ways to help the environment. At the same time, I thought maybe there are not enough awareness in the community or in our society. "Where there is demand, there is supply.."Maybe there isn't enough people that are writing to the council about how to take care of the environment. Maybe individual effort is not enough. We need a community.

For you who have read this post, I would really like to hear your opinion. Is there something else that I should do instead?


siti mazwin kamaruddin said...

Hello there Ophie,

I'm a MAlaysian currently doing research on communities involvement towards waste management in NZ. As you've mentioned, maybe there is a lack of awareness by other individuals in the community to pursue sustainable behaviour eg. recycling,thus,any activity is considered a strain on their time.On the local authorities part, they think they have provided the basic infra necessary and yes they are aware that Malaysians mostly don't like to walk or travel to the recycling centres (unless it happens to be on their way to school or work)...Studies in other developing countries have shown that a successful strategy is to create a successful partnership between the generator of waste and the collector of waste i.e recycling operators,and both gain some benefit (eg. income) from this. Try this link http://www.kpkt.gov.my/kitarsemula/RecyclingCentre.asp for some info on recycling operators that can be contacted.Keep recycling and maybe one day you may find that composting can be fun and empowering as I've found out.

Hijau Kembali said...

Hi Ophie

We are Hijau Kembali, a company dedicated to recycling your household food waste. We are the exclusive distributors for Big Hanna composter and we would like to introduce this product so that you can always dump your waste right below your apartment as you wanted. You apartment council will need to communicate with us on how we can place BH Composter at your appartment. This is a machine where you put your food waste cooked or not cooked and it process the waste to compost. Do get someone from your council to get in touch with us and we will work together towards making malaysia a cleaner and healthier place to live in.

You can always get our contacts and more information about us at http://www.hijaukembali.webs.com or http://www.bighanna.co.uk


Ophie R. Riff said...

Thanks Norhana from Hijau Kembali for sharing with us your very cool website and blog. I would like to review more about your business. I have read a lot about vermicomposting, for the past years but I wasn't sure of making it DIY style(due to my little space and also fear of smell(if there's any)). But the ideas for an income generating recycling is very intriguing. Please tell me more so that I could break the news to the rest out there!! Thanks again.

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