PETALING JAYA: Come Sept 1, some two million households in the country will have to separate their rubbish but many are still in the dark about what they are supposed to do.
“I am not aware of this and I don’t think anyone in my housing area does too,” said Ong Rou Jin, a civil servant.
“I feel there should have been more awareness campaigns or talks by the Government to educate residents.
“Personally, I am clueless when it comes to separating waste,” she said.
“Before the Government starts to fine people for not following the law, the people should be educated first,” said the 26-year-old, who lives in Kota Tinggi, Johor.
Under the Solid Waste and Public Cleansing Management Act 2007, households in Kuala Lumpur and Putrajaya as well as six states – Pahang, Johor, Malacca, Negri Sembilan, Perlis and Kedah – have to separate their trash.
Households in Perak, Penang, Selangor, Kelantan and Terengganu are unaffected for now.
Last year, Urban Wellbeing, Housing and Local Government Minister Datuk Abdul Rahman Dahlan announced that the process of separating waste at source involved the separation of household solid wastes according to its composition, that is, plastic, paper, cardboard, glass, metal, food waste, bulk waste and farm waste.
Universiti Technology Malaysia student Roslin Rahim, who lives in Skudai, is also unaware of the new rule.
Roslin, 27, believes that most Malaysians have yet to change their mentality towards recycling and its benefits.
“I feel if everyone is educated on the benefits of recycling, then they can see what good comes out of it and it will be easier to implement.”
Programme manager Rishen Philip, 33, who lives in Bangsar, agreed that waste separation was a good policy but felt that there should be more public education before it was implemented.
“I will not agree to pay a fine for something I am not aware of,” he added.
Faten Baharuddin, a 32-year-old English teacher living in Kuala Lumpur, read the announcement of the policy in the newspapers but has received no other information.
“I haven’t seen any advertisements. No one has come to my housing area to give out pamphlets on the ruling,” said Faten.
She also didn’t know whether residents would be given new bins to keep their separated waste in.
While Faten thinks she is ready to separate her rubbish, she too felt that many people were still clueless.
Public relations executive Sara Chong, 26, who lives in a condominium in Cheras, said she heard about the news from her friends but did not expect it to be implemented so soon.
“I can influence my family to separate their waste, it’s no hassle at all. I am already practicing recycling at my workplace,” she said.
“Every floor in my condominium has a rubbish area where common bins are provided.
“However, I’m more concerned about other residents living in my condominium who sometimes can’t even put their own rubbish in those bins,” she said.