NGOs at their wit’s end in educating public on proper use of bins

Piles of unwanted shoes were being dumped at the side of the bin along Jalan 3/18a, Kepong.

RECYCLING bins meant for the collection of recyclable items are being misused by unscrupulous parties who made them a dumping ground.

In some places of Klang Valley, bulk waste and heaps of rubbish are seen piled up around these bins.

Non-recyclable items such as Styrofoam, bags of food waste, electronic waste and others were also found inside the bins despite the list of recycle items clearly printed on the bins.

Such careless attitude that plagues certain areas of Klang Valley is hampering the charitable organisations’ efforts in collecting the items that can be channelled to needy parties.

These organisations also have to deal with vandalism. Some of the bins are badly damaged because scavengers break them open to take the valuable items.

On the flip side, the public — especially residents who live near these recycling bins — question the efficiency of the charitable organisations that do not schedule frequent collections, resulting in the donated items overflowing and becoming an eyesore.

Convenient dumpsite: A huge rubbish pile were seen on the side of a recycle bin Jalan 1/144a, Taman Len Sen, Cheras.
Convenient dumpsite: A huge rubbish pile were seen on the side of a recycle bin Jalan 1/144a, Taman Len Sen, Cheras.

Azhar Kamaruddin, who live at Mas apartment in Kepong, said the recycling bin along Jalan 3/18A was constantly piled up with rubbish on the outside.

“I saw discarded shoes stacked up around the bins last week.

“This is a misconception by the public where they think they are giving back to the community but in fact, it is making it more difficult for charity organisations to collect the items, let alone cleaning up the bins and area surrounding it,” he said.

A Sri Hartamas resident, who only wanted to be known as Tan, said the bins along Jalan Sri Hartamas 1 had not been cleared for over two weeks.

“The bin at the roadside is overflowing with recyclable items and it has attracted looters to damage the lock to steal the stuff inside.

“Although it is a convenience for nearby residents to discard used and recyclable items, the organisations who manage such bins must clear them often,” she said.

Items are flowing out from the bin place along Jalan Sri Hartamas 1, Kuala Lumpur.
No room for more: Items are flowing out from the bin placed along Jalan Sri Hartamas 1, Kuala Lumpur.

A food operator in Sri Petaling said he often saw old furniture being thrown near the bins in the vicinity of his stall.

“I have seen people throwing old cabinets and sofas, which will remain there for quite some time as no one picked them up,” he said.

For the charitable organisations, creating awareness among the public on proper usage of the bins is a constant battle.

Pertubuhan Amal Jasa Murni Kuala Lumpur and Selangor advisor Wilson Lau urged the public to not misuse the bins.

“We expected a lot of cases where old furniture and bulk waste are discarded during spring cleaning as Chinese New Year is around the corner, but this is not the way to do it.

“Those who want to donate old but usable furniture, they can call the number printed on the bins and we will collect it separately,” he told StarMetro.

The lock was broken and items in the bins can be taken out.
Petty theft: The lock on one of the bins found broken.

According to Lau, some of the hotspots where the bins are frequently vandalised are in Jinjang, Selayang and Kepong.

He said that he once saw a young boy crawl into a bin in Jinjang and rummage through the items.

“I caught him red-handed as he was sorting through the things that was useful to him.

“On other occasions, the bins were missing. We believe irresponsible parties used heavy machinery to lift the bins.

“We have lodged two police reports on the matter and we suspect metal dealers are also damaging the bins.

“So far, we have replaced 19 damaged bins,” he added.

Lau admitted that the rainy season delayed the collection process.

Pertubuhan Amal Seni Sinar president Datuk Eadon Ching said it was very difficult for the non-government organisations (NGO) to collect the recyclable items when the public misused the bins.

“The bins make it easy for the public to donate unwanted items that are still in good condition to the needy via NGOs such as us.

“However, there are some people dump garbage into the bins, things that are neither recyclable nor reusable.

“Illegal stickers are always a challenge as some covered the phone numbers that are printed on the bins,” he added.

Ching said the organisation placed about 280 recycling bins in Klang Valley but it had to remove about 20 bins due to constant vandalism as well as the low volume of items donated at the site.

“We are focusing on the quality of the bins, whether there is a lot of donated items or if we should restrict it to one bin for one residential neighbourhood.

“If there is demand or an area is huge, we will put more bins,” he explained.

He said the NGO was also reviewing the locations of the bins, to ensure that donors would not cause traffic congestion or become a hazard when they stop to drop off items.

“Another problem is when these bins are placed in close proximity by various NGOs and this makes it seem like they are competing with each other rather than reaching out to a wider public.

“There should be guidelines from the authority in placement of the recycling bins,” he added.

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