Thursday, October 1, 2015

Promoting a culture of recycling - The Star

28 Sept 2015  By Ivan Loh

Buntong and Lim Garden residents weighing the plastic bottles at the collection centre.
Buntong and Lim Garden residents weighing the plastic bottles at the collection centre.
THE Community Recycling Projects at Lim Garden and Buntong are now up and running.
Launched by Perak Local Government Committee chairman Datuk Rusnah Kassim recently, the two projects saw about 300 residents from each area taking part in waste separation.
Two recycling bins have already been placed – at the playground in Taman Kurin, Buntong and the field behind the Rukun Tetangga office in Lim Garden.
Collection for the recyclables would be done the second and fourth Sundays of the month in the evening.
The recycling project in Buntong was a collaboration between Ipoh City Watch (ICW), Perak Solid Waste Management and Public Cleanliness Corporation (SWCorp) and Komuniti 1Malaysia Buntong (K1MB).
The project in Lim Garden was organised by ICW, SWCorp and the Lim Garden Rukun Tetangga as well as its Residents Association pro-tem committee.
People have already started using the recycling bin at Taman Kurin, Buntong.
People have already started using the recycling bin at Taman Kurin, Buntong.
The projects were started following the success of the inaugural project at Kampung Jelapang Tambahan, which was launched in April.
Its main objective was to reduce waste from going into the landfill by promoting a culture of recycling amongst the community.
K1MB secretary M Ramachandran said they were eager to start the project to keep Buntong clean.
“I’ve seen the results at Jelapang and I hope we can do the same for Buntong.
“People should start learning to separate their garbage because the waste separation law will be implemented sooner or later,” he said.
Ramachandran said it would take some time for the community to adopt the waste separation process but he felt that it was achievable.
“When people start doing it and it is beneficial to the community, others will follow.
“With more awareness, people will separate their waste on their own,” he said.
Lim Garden Residents Association pro-tem committee adviser Victor Chew said they have distributed pamphlets to the residents, informing them of the recycling project.
“About 200 to 300 households are aware.
“Proceeds from the sale of the recyclable waste will go to the Rukun Tetangga and Residents Association to conduct local activities,” he said.

Sorting things out - The Star

28 Sept 2015 By Ivan Loh

Buntong and Lim Garden residents learning how to make compost from household food waste.
Buntong and Lim Garden residents learning how to make compost from household food waste.
THE Solid Waste Management and Public Cleanliness Act 2007 in Perak could be implemented this year.
Perak Local Government Committee chairman Datuk Rusnah Kassim said she has set up a meeting with the Housing and Local Government Minister to discuss the agreement within the next few weeks and hoped to have it signed “soon”.
Rusnah said there were still some terms that needed to be sorted out before the agreement is signed.
“We may go with privatisation.
“However, we want to ensure that the agreement between the Federal and state would not burden the people or the local council workers,” she said after the launch of the Community Recycling Projects for Lim Garden and Buntong at the Sri Maha Mariamman Temple in Buntong last Saturday.
Rusnah said the state, Solid Waste Management and Public Cleanliness Corporation (SWCorp), solid waste management company Environment Idaman Sdn Bhd (E-Idaman) and the Federal Government have already met and discussed the terms of the agreement.
Rusnah (second from left) launching the Community Recycling Project for Buntong and Lim Garden. With her are SWCorp Perak director Fatimah Ahmad (left) and Dr Ng (second from right).
Rusnah (second from left) launching the Community Recycling Project for Buntong and Lim Garden. With her are SWCorp Perak director Fatimah Ahmad (left) and Dr Ng (second from right).
“We felt that 21 years is too long for the agreement.
“We want to review the solid waste management company’s performance every three years,” she said.
Rusnah added that she has checked out E-Idaman’s performance in Kedah.
“The feedback was positive.
“The cleanliness level has improved considerably,” she said, adding that the company has been approved by the Federal Government to service states in the northern region including Perak, Perlis, Kedah and Penang.
Ipoh City Watch president Prof Dr Richard Ng said it was of utmost importance that the state privatises solid waste management.
Dr Ng said the local council lacked the expertise in garbage collection.
The residents signing the recycling campaign banner.
The residents signing the recycling campaign banner.
“The Ipoh City Council does not have enough garbage trucks.
“Contracted garbage collectors will not pick up garden waste, making it an ongoing issue,” he said.
“People need to fork out their own money to have the garden waste collected when complaints are made to the city council and this is unfair as people are already paying taxes,” he added.
Dr Ng said the city council did not have enough enforcement officers to go around to deal with those who dispose of garbage indiscriminately.
“The state needs to seriously consider privatisation.
“Once the issue with garbage, drainage and grass is solved, the city council can focus more on greening and developing the city,” he said.
“And, the people will not blame the state government for these issues anymore,” he added.
Rusnah lauded the community recycling project and said people should start learning about garbage separation.
She also said that Pasir Pinji and Manjoi could be the next areas to take on the project.
“I’ve spoken to the Pasir Pinji assemblyman about the recycling project.
“Pasir Pinji is also part of Ipoh and I think the general cleanliness of the area is also important,” she said.

Learn From The Filipinos - Ipoh Echo

16 Sept 2015 by Dr. Richard Ng

The appointment of former President of Manjung Municipal Council, Dato’ Zamri Man, as the new mayor of Ipoh on July 1 was well received by Ipohites.
As President of Ipoh City Watch (ICW), I am delighted to note that he is bringing with him his experiences from Manjung, the third best-managed local council in Malaysia, to Ipoh.
We are more delighted when he said his vision is to make Ipoh the most liveable city in Malaysia through an inclusive administrative system. That is exactly what we are striving for at ICW.
When asked by reporters on his first day of work, Dato’ Zamri has made known his intention of working with NGOs and civil society groups to solve the various issues plaguing Ipoh. He hoped to improve the city in a year’s time, in terms of cleanliness and other criteria set under the state government's Amanjaya policy.
Just three weeks ago The Economist reported the results of a liveability survey on 140 cities in the world. Melbourne has once again emerged as the most liveable city in the world for the fifth consecutive time based on a set of 30 criteria which include safety, healthcare, educational resources, environment and infrastructure. Kuala Lumpur, Penang and Johor Baru are ranked at the bottom half of the list with Tripoli, Lagos, Port Moresby, Dhaka and Damascus listed as the five least liveable cities.
Comparing Ipoh with Melbourne is unfair, as we are at a different end of the continuum. However, it is not a sin to make Ipoh the most liveable city in Malaysia. Two pertinent issues that affect Ipohites are economy and safety, which are part of the liveability survey variables. In terms of safety and security, ICW is working closely with the Police and other NGOs to provide feedback and ways to improve the city’s security.
Economy will improve when we have a good business-and-industry-driven environment coupled with good policies that can attract investors. We need good infrastructure such as a good transportation system. Ipoh’s reasonably cheap and good food is already a plus point. However, the rise in dengue cases will be a pull-down factor. We too hope this is not the reason why it is so difficult to get dengue statistics on cases affecting each housing area within Ipoh. But what we do know is that the number of dengue cases is correlated to the number of illegal dumpsites, clogged drains, overgrown grass and abandoned houses.
Maybe comparing Ipoh with Los Banos and Tuguegarao, two small cities in Philippines, will be fairer. Both are slightly smaller than Taiping. What fascinated me during my recent visit there was the level of cleanliness. They are definitely very clean. I could not find one single illegal dumpsite for which Ipoh is famous.
I had the opportunity to speak to the head of environment of Los Banos’s Local Council and we shared our experience in managing solid waste. To start off, their mayor is elected by the people and garbage is one of the issues raised by Filipinos. Los Banos has 14 ‘barangays’ or gardens. They started garbage separation and recycling about 10 years ago. When it was first launched in 2005 they received strong objection and rejection from the people. But today, keeping their environment clean is part of their culture.
The new elected Mayor Perez of Los Banos has come out with a 10-year Strategic Action Plan (2013-2023) which requires Los Banos Municipal to divert 50 per cent of the biodegradable waste and recyclables from going to the sanitary landfill in 2016.
In both cities, the people are required to bring out only biodegradable waste, which includes organic waste, from Monday to Friday for collection between 8pm and 9pm. The non-biodegradable must be taken out and sent to a designated collection centre only on every Saturday between 8pm and 9pm. Those found placing garbage outside their residence will be penalised by paying a 50 pesos (RM4.50) fine and their garbage will not be collected.
The organic waste collected are then sent for composting where they are put into a large shredding machine and then mixed with soil and night crawlers to turn into organic fertiliser within 10 days. This fertiliser is then used for their landscape plants while some are given free to farmers.
I also found recycling bins placed in strategic locations in the city of Tuguegarao where residents can place plastic bottles and cans, which we do not have in Ipoh. The flower pots in town are painted with creative words such as “Save the Earth. We have nowhere to Go”, “Cleanliness starts within yourself”, “Cleanliness is next to Godliness”, and “Be Clean in Thoughts, Words and Deeds”.
ICW has helped implement the Community Recycling Programmes involving 250 households in Jelapang Tambahan in collaboration with Perak SWCorp and Rukun Tetangga Jelapang. The project launched in April 2015 has produced positive results when more than 4 tonnes of garbage are saved from going to the landfill or illegal dumpsites with a recycling rate of 17 per cent, higher than the national average of 10 per cent.
The success has resulted in two more recycling programmes involving Buntong and Lim Garden residents. It will be launched on Saturday, September 19 at the Indian Recreational Club padang at 3.30pm by Dato’ Hajah Rusnah Kassim, Executive Councillor for Women’s Development, Family, Welfare, Caring Society, Housing and Local Government. All Ipohites are cordially invited to the function and learn about garbage separation and composting.

Recycling Project Launch - Ipoh Echo

1 Oct 2015 by Nantini Krishnan

Ipoh City Watch (ICW) successfully launched the Buntong and Lim Garden Community Recycling Project in collaboration with the Perak Solid Waste Management and Public Cleanliness Corp (SWCorp).
The event was held at the Sri Maha Mariamman Hall, Buntong on Saturday, September 19 and was officiated by Dato’ Rosnah Kassim, the Executive Councillor for Women and Family Development, Social Welfare and Housing and Local Government. Present at the ceremony were Hajah Fatimah Ahmad, Perak SWCorp Director, Ipoh City Councillor M. Veeran, who represented the mayor and ICW President, Dr Richard Ng.
The objective of the project was to educate residents of Lim Garden and Buntong on the importance of garbage separation and recycling in order to help keep the environment clean.
Ipoh City Watch’s other initiative to reduce solid waste is by composting. A demonstration on composting was shown during the launch.The process is to convert organic wastes such as food to organic fertiliser.
According to Dr Richard Ng, the goal of community recycling is to reduce the amount of waste going to landfills by promoting the culture of recycling in the community.
“Community recycling is the best option for the public. The programme is not difficult to put to practice and is best conducted via active engagement with the end-users,” said Rusnah in her opening remarks.
Some 150 residents from both housing estates attended the launching ceremony.

SWCorp has established garbage collection points in Lim Garden and Buntong. It is a good start for residents to do their part in garbage separation which will become mandatory in the country soon.

Friday, September 25, 2015

NGOs call for engagement with ratepayers to prepare for solid waste law - The Malay Mail

15 Sept 2015  By Farahin MH Noor

IPOH, Sept 15 — Non-governmental organisations (NGOs) have called for  an extensive public engagement exercise to get residents prepared for the Solid Waste and Public Cleansing Act, touted to take effect within the next couple of years.
Ipoh Ratepayers and Taxpayers Association deputy president Victor Sankey said although the move to privatise waste collection was good, it could turn out to be a failure in Perak.
He said he was not aware of whether Solid Waste and Public Cleansing Management Corporation (SWCorp) had met ratepayers to explain its disposal operations. 
“As far as I know, there has been no public engagement. We are ill-informed about the solid waste management plan. No party has made any attempt to clarify the matter to the public,” he said. 
Sankey said there should be town hall meetings with NGOs, communities and residents associations to ensure efficiency of implementation once the Act was enforced.
“Such meetings will help iron out ambiguities, answer inquiries as well as entertain proposals raised by the ratepayers,” he said.
Perak Consumers Association president Abdul Rahman Said Alli said the implementation of the Act would encourage recycling. However, the implementation mode was wrong, and it should not be  profit-based.
“The company’s priority should be to serve the people because we, the taxpayers, are their biggest funder,” he said.
Abdul Rahman said he was not against privatisation of services, provided they were carried out in accordance with the law.
“Both the state government and SWCorp must declare the operational cost to the people so they can see the value for money that they will receive,” he said.
Ipoh City Watch (ICW) president Dr Richard Ng said the state government should adopt the Act.
“The people have been yearning to have good waste management services. ICW urges the state government to go for it,” he said.
“The current waste management system is no longer efficient. There are over 2,000 illegal dumpsites in Ipoh alone, and they make up about two-thirds of the whole of Perak.”
Ng said by signing the waste disposal agreement, the local councils could hand over the waste management service to efficient and effective parties.

Yeoh Say Bah is unsung hero no more - The Malaysian Insider

Sept 22, 2015 by Jerry Francis

Retired lorry driver Yeoh Say Bah, 75, whose selflessness led to him becoming a local hero in Taman Tinggi and the surrounding housing estates, has won kudos from the establishment, too.
Last Saturday, he was presented with a certificate of appreciation from state Women, Family, Community Welfare Development and Housing committee chairman Datuk Rusnah Kassim at the launch of Buntong and Lim Garden’s 3Rs project at Indian Recreation Club in Buntong, Ipoh.
Yeoh also received a basket of organic vegetables, a painting made of recycled materials and a bag of goodies.
Earlier, a video clip was shown of him performing the daily chores he had taken upon himself at the playground and jogging track near his house in Taman Tinggi.
Every morning, from Monday to Friday, weather permitting, he is seen with a cangkul and rack trimming the grass and generally tidying up the place.
The Malaysian Insider reported in July the story of the man whose unusual activities were at first regarded with suspicion and mocked by the neighbours.
One day, more than a year ago, he had decided to trim the grass around the track. While he was at it, he thought, he might as well pick up the litter and make sure that the drains were unclogged.
It became a regular routine. As other senior citizens were taking a morning walk, he was attending to the playground.
In the beginning, everyone thought Yeoh was eccentric. Some ridiculed him and asked whether he was being paid by the city council.
When they realised that he was doing it for the simple pleasure of seeing the place spick and span, they warmed up and become admiring and respectful.
They would often stop to talk with the man, who was always ready for a chat.
A whip-round was even held to to get him a new hoe.
Regarding the presentation, the modest Yeoh said he had been reluctant but was persuaded to attend when told that he would serve to inspire the people he met.
“I hope I can inspire them to also keep the neighbourhood clean and tidy,” he said.

Fed up with illegal dumps, group takes on waste recycling - The Malaysian Insider

Sept 25 2015 By Jerry Francis

Concerned by the mammoth problem of illegal dumps in Ipoh, non-governmental organisation Ipoh City Watch and waste management company SWCorp Perak have joined forces to encourage residents to recycle their solid waste.
“It is part of our greater aim to reduce illegal dumping and solid waste materials being sent to landfills,” said Victor Chew, secretary of Ipoh City Watch.
Encouraged by the response to its first “3R Project” in Jelapang Tambahan, two similar schemes were set up last weekend in Buntong and Lim Garden, launched by Perak Women, Family, Community Welfare Development, Housing and Local Government chairman Datuk Rusnah Kassim, at Dewan Sri Maha Mariamman, Jalan Sungai Pari, Buntong.
More such schemes will gradually be set up all over the city and other parts of the state.
“The scheme in Jalapang Tambahan, which was set up in April, has been a success,” said Chew. “There were 12 illegal dumpsites in the area but now there are barely a handful.
“To date, the residents of Jelapang Tambahan have collected 4,000kg of recyclables plastics, paper and metal waste for sale.”
In addition, this project also encourages the conversion of food waste into compost, thus further reducing 43% of solid waste produced by each home.
Compost can be used as organic fertilizer to produce toxin free vegetables and fruits, promoting a healthier lifestyle.
Illegal dumps, created by indiscriminate dumping of all kinds of waste along roads in residential areas and in secluded places in most parts of the city, have been posing a health problem for many years.
It is estimated there are more than 15,000 such sites throughout the city. Ipoh City Council appears to be helpless as each time it clears an illegal dump a new site will emerge somewhere else.
Mayor after mayor has come in with a determination to solve the problem, but left without achieving it.