Nature’s helper at apartment block
By OH ING YEENWHILE some of us are still deep in slumber, Chin Chu Lin is up and about at 6am every day, pushing her trusty trolley from unit to unit to collect recyclable items at the apartment block where she lives in Damansara Utama, Petaling Jaya.
“There are three blocks and 18 floors per block. My friend gave me the trolley to ease the burden of carrying things around. Before this, I carried all the recyclable items and walked to and from my apartment unit.
“It’s just a daily exercise for me. If I see something that can be recycled, I’ll pick it up. I’m used to it as I’ve been doing it for the past five to six years,” said Chin, a member of the Taiwan Buddhist Tzu-Chi Foundation Malaysia.
She collects the items and sends them for recycling every third Saturday of the month. The proceeds are donated to charity organisations.
Thus, before the third Saturday, her house is filled with old newspapers, old clothes and unwanted furniture. Even the walkway outside her apartment is filled with recyclable items.
“At first, my husband was not happy with what I was doing as it cluttered the house. So, I did it secretly. But now he understands and even helps,” she said, adding that her 15-year-old daughter helped her sort out the items.
“At first, I had to explain to neighbours what I was doing as they thought I was making a profit by selling the items.”
Many now understand she is just doing her part for the environment.
Some residents even place recyclable items outside her unit the night before.
In the past four years, Chin’s neighbour Anna Lim has been setting aside old newspapers, bottles and plastic items for her to collect.
Lim supports Chin’s cause as it is for charity and creates awareness on preserving the environment.
“As a teacher, I tell my students to conserve the environment. Recycling helps save trees,” she said.
Aside from collecting recyclable items, Chin’s efforts are a way to create awareness on the importance of environment conservation.
Children at her apartment block are influenced by her green efforts and help her sort out the recyclable items.
Among them are twin brothers Tan Qi Fong and Tan Qi Ee, both seven, who always help load old newspapers on Chin’s trolley.
“They help sort out the recyclable items and pile them up,” said housewife Chan Fong Ping about her twin sons.
Chin is glad that youths in her apartment block are helping her out.
“I hope more people will recycle to conserve the environment. It is just a small effort to aid Mother Nature,” she said, adding: “I’ll continue doing what I’m doing for as long as I can.”