Monday, July 9, 2018

High Technology Recycling effort undertaken by Rukun Tetangga Jelapang finally recognised and rewarded

8 July 2018

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.

Friday, July 6, 2018

Review of Plastic Ban in Perak and Emulate Japanese Culture during SUKMA and all government functions

6 July 2018 by Dr. Richard Ng

The new Pakatan Harapan government has been urged to review on the previous BN government’s policy of banning plastics as announced in April 2016 which is supposed to be enforced effective 1 June 2017.

The U-Turn was announced by the then Perak MB, Dr. Zambry Abd Kadir about a month before the enforcement of the policy giving excuses that a thorough study was required before enforcing the ban. According to him, we cannot tackle the problems of plastic and polystyrene usage without providing the correct alternative, as well as creating an environment that leads towards the ban.

In April 2016, he announced that the total ban on plastic bags and polystyrene containers would be enforced in stages, starting with state government buildings, cafeterias, and functions to start using biodegradable containers every Friday from June last year. In the second stage, the ban was extended from weekly to daily. It was then extended to cover all municipal councils in the state. The final stage was the ban on polystyrene and plastic bags throughout the state.

If the government is serious about reducing carbon footprint and addressing climate change as one of the goals under the United Nation on Sustainable Development Goals, then the review is imminent. There are two ways to do it: through enforcement and legislation and education.

In Perak with a population of 2.8 million now, a total of 200,000 tonnes of garbage is generated each year and of this total about 30% or 65,000 tonnes made up various plastics and polystyrene. Also there are over 2,000 illegal dumpsites now. As plastics takes years to decompose, the landfills and illegal dumpsites will keep piling up.

We need not to wait for further studies as states such as Penang, Selangor, Melaka and Johor have implemented successfully. The people in these states have adapted to it and are ever willing to cooperate. However, it must start from the government, the corporate sectors, the traders and plastic manufacturers.

We still noticed during Hari Raya Open House hosted by government agencies continued to use disposable polystyrene plastics, plastic spoons and forks as well as plastic straws. The government must stop using single use plastic even though it is a cheaper option to help reduce plastic pollution which is choking our ocean.

Traders must be forced to use plastic containers which can be recycled instead of polystyrene box even though it cost more and not a good alternative.
The better option is to educate the public to bring their own tiffin carrier and mugs when purchasing foods and drinks.

The government must also engage environment NGOs such as KOHIJAU and Ipoh City Watch which have been actively involved in educating the public especially students to practice 3R and use recyclable shopping bags. The community such as senior citizens and single mothers can be taught on upcycling skills to salvage plastics and turn it into bags and other products which can be reuse as decorations, flower pots, stationery holders or even handicrafts.

The enforcement on the banning of plastics can be carried out by business licensing authority especially the local councils. Traders who ignore this ruling will have their business license revoked.

During the recent FIFA world cup in Russia involving Japan, the Japanese fans, players and officers set good examples to the world by picking up thrash left in the stadium and even cleaned up their rooms before they leave. This a habit the Japanese government has cultivated in young Japanese students.

Perak will soon host the 19th SUKMA Games from 14 to 22 September 2018. This is the best opportunity for Perakians to showcase our good habit by emulating the Japanese to clean up the venue after every event held.

The Perak Chairman for Youth and Sports should look into engaging NGOs and Volunteers to help. Thousands of people will be in Perak during this game and what better way to show that we are not just only a good host but a responsible host. Already Perak is famed for its good food. We must not just display the number medals we receive but also to showcase that we are one of the cleanest if not the cleanest state in Malaysia.

So start to form our volunteer brigade and NGOs, empower them and make our state proud and great again.

Solving the plastic crisis starts with Asia - Bloomberg

26 June 2018 - Adam Minter

Since Jan 1, when China stopped accepting the rich world’s recyclable plastic waste, it’s gotten a tonne of criticism for worsening the already deep crisis of ocean plastic pollution. But China isn’t the only culprit here. This is a crisis made — and growing worse — throughout developing Asia.
Just eight countries in the region are responsible for about 63 per cent of total plastic waste flowing into the oceans. Little of that junk has been exported by rich economies. Instead, it’s almost solely generated by Asia’s newly minted consumer classes, the vast majority of whom lack access to garbage collection, modern landfills and incineration. Any progress in reducing ocean plastic will have to start with them.

A boom in garbage is almost always the result of two related phenomena: Urbanisation and income growth. Rural dwellers moving to the city shift from buying unpackaged goods to buying stuff (especially food) wrapped in plastic. As their incomes rise, their purchases increase. That growth in consumption is almost never matched by expanded garbage collection and disposal. In typical low-income countries, less than half of all garbage is collected formally, and what little is picked up tends to end up in unregulated open dumps. In 2015, scientists estimated that as much as 88 per cent of the waste generated in Vietnam is either littered or tossed into uncontained dumps. In China, the rate is about 77 per cent. By comparison, the US rate is 2 per cent.
Every big city in developing Asia faces this problem. Jakarta’s waterways are choked with plastic trash. In Kuala Lumpur, instances of open dumping line the high-speed train route to the airport. On the outskirts of any Chinese city, loose plastic bags and instant-noodle cups litter every road’s shoulder. Much of this junk ends up in waterways — and, eventually, the ocean. One study found that eight of the 10 rivers conveying the most plastic waste into the oceans are in Asia. China’s Yangtze alone delivers 1.5 million metric tonnes of plastic to the Yellow Sea each year.
Solutions to all this have proved chronically elusive. China has prohibited retailers from providing free plastic bags for a decade, to almost no effect. In Indonesia, longstanding efforts to tax plastic bottles and containers have run into the reality that few locals have access to piped or uncontaminated water. Although recycling is common in Asia, plastic presents an often insurmountable challenge: Technical and environmental factors render much of it unrecyclable, especially in developing regions. In fact, only about 9 per cent of plastics are recycled globally.
Yet there’s another, far more promising option: Improve regular old trash collection. A recent study by the Ocean Conservancy and the McKinsey Centre for Business and Environment found that boosting trash collection rates to 80 per cent in just five Asian countries — China, Indonesia, the Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam — could reduce ocean plastic waste by a whopping 23 per cent over a decade. No other solution can promise such an immediate or lasting impact.
Pulling it off won’t be easy. Garbage collection and disposal is often the most expensive line-item on city budgets in the developing world, and achieving the study’s goal would require US$4 billion to US$5 billion (RM16 to RM20 billion) per year. But that’s not impossible: In the UK, aid organisations are pushing the government to spend 3 per cent of its annual foreign aid on waste collection and disposal in the developing world (currently, it spends 0.3 per cent). If that goal were adopted by other rich countries, it could be a game-changer for ocean plastics.
The private sector could also help. An American advocacy group called Closed Loop Ocean is raising US$150 million from global corporations — including 3M Co, Coca-Cola Co, and Procter & Gamble Co — to invest in scalable waste collection and disposal businesses in India and Indonesia. Petrochemical and plastics companies should be next to join.
All this is just a start, of course. Developing Asia will eventually need many more modern landfills, incinerators and self-funding recycling programmes. But for now, one reform could have a bigger global impact than just about any other: Start picking up the trash. — Bloomberg Opinion

Monday, June 25, 2018

Disucssion on CSO-SDG Alliance in Ipoh led by Datuk Dr. Denison Jeyasooria

23 June 2018

Last Saturday 23 June 2018, I was invited to attend the presentation on CSO-SDG Alliance work by Datuk Denison Jayasooria and discussion on issues affecting the Indian communities held in Ipoh. 

The discussion centred around sustainable development goals and 3 interventions proposed. Several people including me gave our thoughts on the intervention. About 50 people turned up for the session held at Vision Home, Taman Rishah, Ipoh, Perak.

I was tasked to lead the Perak chapter to gather our NGOs to work together. A forum is proposed to get the public's feedback to support our good intention to uplift the societies especially the B40 group.

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Gotong Royong to clean up Golden Club House

29 May 2018

Our team from KOHIJAU and Ipoh City Watch converged at Taman Pinji Mewah to clean up the residence of one of our members on 29 May 2018.

The house will be turned into our Golden Club House, another social community project to help help rejuvenate senor citizens especially from our members.

We are really touched by the response from our members especially our muslim friends, despite fasting during the month of Ramadhan all for the sake of setting up this centre.

Once complete, we will apply for license from the local authority to operate a Nursing Home managed by volunteers.

We planned to organise programmes for senior citizens where there will be several activities such entertainment, therapy, talks, caring for elderly, cooking, potluck which will be contributed by volunteers.

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Raya Open House hosted by YB Dato Samsudin Abu Hassan

18 June 2018

YB Dato' Samsudin Abu Hassan, state assemblyman for Air Kuning and former Perak State Exco member for NGO hosted the Raya Open House on 18 June 2018 at his residence in Kpg Tanjong Keramat.

I attended this function on behalf of KOHIJAU. Dato Samsudin has been supporting KOHIJAU since 2016 by sponsoring 10 recycling bins for the district of Batang Padang to ensure the community here can practice recycling.

Over 1,000 people attended the open house. Also presence include YB Dato Saravanan, Member of Parliment for Tapah and Dato Sani Supi, former adviser to former Perak MB.

KOHIJAU Team attend Hari Raya Open House of MB Perak

June 16 2018

A team KOHIJAU Members attended the Hari Raya Open House of the new Perak MB, YAB Tuan Ahmad Faizal Azumu. 

It was held at the residence of former Perak State Exco, Dato Mohammad Radzi, who is the the father-in-law of Perak MB.

We were greeted by Dato' Radzi and Datin Normah, who is an active Social Activist cum Advisor of Pertubuhan Wanita Prihatin Perak and also a member of our Gabungan NGO Perak.

Also presence include YABhg Dr. Nomee Binti Radzi, wife of Perak MB and YB Dato' Nolee Radzi, state assemblyman for Tualang Sekah.