Volunteers on trail to restore Penang Hill’s beauty

Cheok (right) with other volunteers collecting rubbish along one of the trails on Penang Hill during the Trash-Free Hill programme. — ZHAFARAN NASIB/The Star

ALMOST half a tonne of rubbish and recyclable waste was collected during the inaugural Trash Free Hill programme at Penang Hill.

Volunteers were seen collecting the litter along eight different trails leading up to the hill in the wee hours of the morning.

Student Nur Syahirah Sulaiman, 21, said she was happy to be part of the programme.

“I took part in plogging events with my university mates and they told me about this programme too.

“We collected quite a bit of plastic. It makes me mad that people are so irresponsible.

“We are not the only ones here as we share this world with animals and plants.

“We must be considerate. In other countries like Japan, people would rather keep the rubbish in their pockets until they find an appropriate place to discard it,” said the chemistry student.

Billy Lim, 20, was shocked at the amount of rubbish collected.

“It is a nature path where people walk to exercise and I did not expect to find so much waste along the route.

“I am quite sad and disappointed that people do not hold on to their values and responsibilities to keep the environment safe and clean. We are taking our environment for granted.

“I hope the public will pick up rubbish that they come across,” said the applied biology student.

Nur Syahirah and Lim were among 550 volunteers who took part in the programme organised by Penang Hill Corporation (PHC).

PHC general manager Cheok Lay Leng said the programme was aimed at creating awareness of the importance of preserving the hill.

“The event not only encourages one to care for nature, but also to lead a healthy lifestyle as well,” he said in his speech.

State Welfare, Caring Society and Environment Committee chairman Phee Boon Poh, who launched the event, said the state government took on the challenge of reducing the usage of plastic.

Also present were Penang Island City Council mayor Datuk Yew Tung Seang and Ayer Itam assemblyman Joseph Ng.

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