As the mandatory implementation of waste separation in several states draws near, the authorities are focusing their efforts on creating more awareness through activities such as the 3R Marathon and Carnival in Putrajaya.
The event attracted 5,000 participants who took part in the 42km, 21km and 10km runs that were divided into Open, Malaysian and Veteran categories for both men and women except the 10km which did not have an open category.
To create awareness on waste segregation, bin sets for paper, plastic, wet waste and other recyclable waste were placed throughout the venue sites. Arches made using recyclable material were placed along the course while an exhibition on recycling was also held.
Solid Waste Management and Public Cleansing Corporation (SWCorp) chief executive officer Datuk Ab Rahim Md Noor said the event was one of the ways to create awareness on the impending mandatory waste separation implementation.
“We are using different ways of spreading the message. For example, we recently appointed the Team Honda ES Malaysia Club as an Anti-Litter ambassador and their vehicles will display the sticker during activities throughout peninsular Malaysia.
“Earlier, we also collaborated local entertainment artistes to spread green messages on a popular award shows. We are also actively engaging the public through social media channels,” he said.
Ab Rahim admitted that trying to change mindsets was an uphill task.
“The recycling campaign is not new but enforcement for it has not been strict in the past but from next year, offenders will face a fine,” he said.
Urban Wellbeing, Housing and Local Government Ministry (KPKT) deputy secretary-general (policy and development) Datuk Dr Tam Weng Wah added a number of people were already implementing waste segregation at home.
“I have noticed more vehicles going around collecting recyclable waste which also suggests a growing demand for such services,” he said.
The waste separation system will be known as the 2 + 1 collection system whereby wet waste will be collected twice followed by once for recyclable waste such as plastic, glass and paper.
Ab Rahim also said that the recyclable waste would be collected on the same day as the collection of bulk and garden waste.
The mandatory implementation covers Kuala Lumpur, Putrajaya, Negri Sembilan, Malacca, Johor, Pahang, Kedah and Perlis.
The marathon was organised by KPKT, SWCorp and Servmark Sdn Bhd.
A total of RM215,000 in prize money was given away.