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Tuesday November 4, 2008

Adults play supporting role in pilot community composting project

THE adults are taking a back seat and letting the kids run the show at the pilot community composting project in SS14, Subang Jaya.

“One of the aims of this project is to create awareness. Adults play a supporting role, so kids will know the difference between right and wrong,” SS14 resident T.K. Lee, who helped coordinate the project, said at the launch recently.

“These kids, between 12 and 15 years old, are at their most impressionable age. They will also be able to connect with and relate to nature. It will help in character-building, instilling responsibility and accountability and encourage community-building, and in the process, they will get to know each other, too,” the 59-year-old human resource manager added.

Sharing info: Che Asmah (left) listening in as Subang Jaya SS17 OCS Chief Inspector Sulaiman Baputty and Lee share tips on going green.

Residents from other areas in Subang Jaya, such as USJ 5 and USJ 10, also turned out for the launch to learn more about the project.

USJ13 resident T.Y. Loh said it would be a good family project.

“The bigger picture is about caring for the environment and this is all part of the ecology system. All you need is effort,” he said.

His wife Leong Pee Kuan added that they had started making their own compost and roped in their children to help.

“We have to educate them when they are young, and make it fun while teaching them about responsibility.

“By giving them responsibility, it also gives them a sense of fulfilment,” said the 38-year-old homemaker, adding that the adults had to lead the way.

Selangor Environment Department director Che Asmah Ibrahim commended the community for taking the initiative to organise the project.

“This is a good effort by the community and it is in line with the environment week’s tagline,” she said.

Subang Jaya assemblyman Hannah Yeoh, who launched the project, said they had been brainstorming the idea in the office.

“The by-product is what the children learn from this. The composting project would not work without cooperation from the residents,” she said, adding that the residents had taken the initiative to sponsor the ‘Subang Kids’ T-shirts for the children.

She hopes to implement this idea in other areas as well.

“However, there are many things to fine-tune, such as the location for composting as well as dealing with the smell.

“The compost bins are not cheap; make sure no one steals it or dumps rubbish into it!” she added.

According to Lee, the bins cost RM560 each.

With Starbucks chipping in, the compost will have coffee grounds aside from the usual leaves and kitchen waste.

Berjaya Starbucks Coffee Company Sdn Bhd marketing and communications director Sydney Quays said the company was excited to hear about the community composting project that was coming up and contacted the representative of the programme.

“We accumulate all used coffee grounds from four Starbucks stores that we have in Subang Jaya and deliver them two or three times weekly to the composting site. We received interesting feedback on how aromatic these coffee grounds still were even after they had been extracted.

“Actually, Starbucks has started a similar project called ‘Grounds For Your Garden’ at our selected stores where we recycle our used coffee grounds into natural fertilisers. We provide them at no charge to our customers and the feedback so far has been very good,” he said.

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