The recycling project launched in Jelapang Tambahan has finally been recognised. The project mooted by Ipoh City Watch in collaboration with Perak SWCorp and managed by Rukun Tetangga Jelapang since April 2015 under the social business concept, has won the Premier Award under the Best Innovative Project category.
RT Jelapang Chairman, Mr. S. Thinakaran, received the certificate and cash prize award of RM500 from Perak State Chairman for Civil Society, YB Sivanesan witnessed by Perak State Director, Department of Unity and National Integration, Tuan Haji Hadi Awang at a ceremony held at Arena Square, Batu Gajah.
Before the recycling project started in Jelapang Tambahan, there were 12 illegal dumpsites found within the community of about 200 houses. The place was also recorded among the highest dengue cases in Perak.
A recycling system was set up at Jelapang Tambahan where RT Jelapang helped to manage the community to bring their recyclables twice a month. Several gotong royong and house to house campaign were also organised to educate the community. The contributors were paid cash based on the type and weight of the recyclables. This system was carried out until December 2016.
When Ipoh City Watch set up Koperasi Alam Hijau Perak Berhad (KOHIJAU) and collaborates with ICycle Malaysia Sdn. Bhd., a new recycling system was launched where contributors used the recycling reward point system where contributors can drop their recyclables at any recycling bins. The recyclables were placed in a biodegradable plastic bags with barcode membership sticker pasted. The recyclables will be collected from the bin every week and sent to a factory where they are sorted and weighed and recycling points were allocated. The recycling points accumulated can then be redeemed with cash or coupons as when required.
The KOHIJAU-ICYCLE system was then launched in Jelapang in January 2017 which enable RT Jelapang to go high-tech to help reduce garbage from going to landfill and in the process contribute some income to RT Jelapang to finance its community programmes.
To date, 8,900 kg of recyclables have been collected from Jelapang Tambahan and a total of RM3,850 has been paid out to the residents. The recycling rate in this village is 17.5% compared to the average national recycling rate of 10%. The 12 illegal dumpsites have disappeared and residents are more aware of keeping the environment clean. The dengue cases has also dropped.
Thus RT Jelapang has successfully helped salvage 8,900kg of garbage from going to the landfills or illegal dumpsites. This is a saving of about RM2,700 to the state government where the government pay an average of 30 sen per kg to contractors.
This is a social business embarked by RT Jelapang to self-finance its activities and help contribute towards eradicating poverty and climate change as stipulated under the UN Sustainable Development Goals.
According to Ipoh City Watch President cum KOHIJAU Chairman, Associate Prof. Dr. Richard Ng, Jelapang Tambahan has set up a good example for other Rukun Tetangga in the state to emulate. Garbage is generated by every members of the community and it is good that RT do something to help educate the community.
For KOHIJAU, this is the 4th achievements within 2 years. Last year KOHIJAU helped the Slim Village to emerge 3rd place in the national Premier Village award for cleanliness. KOHIJAU too play a small part in helping SMK Raja Perempuan Ipoh emerged national champion in the Toyota Eco environment project. In March 2018, KOHIJAU helped the Selama Police District to emerge as national champion in innovation for using the KOHIJAU-ICYCLE system. The award received by RT Jelapang is the 4th one where KOHIJAU has played a key role.
KOHIJAU is now embarking on a new project with RT Jelapang by developing a community fish and agro farming by converting organic waste to fish food and fertilizer. This project if successful can help RT Jelapang reduce 40% of the waste and help generate a good income for the community. It also helps to create jobs and supplement income.