Purposeful decluttering

Tzu Chi Foundation Malaysia collects recyclables and reusable items at different locations. People can drop off items at their collection centres too. — Filepic

WITH the start of 2020 and Chinese New Year in two weeks, this is the time to declutter.

A check with some non-governmental organisations (NGO) that collect used items comprising

recyclables showed that they receive the most items in December and just before Chinese New Year.

Taiwan Buddhist Tzu-Chi Foundation Malaysia Taman Desa Recycling Centre coordinator Francis Tan said they usually received a lot of books during the school holidays in December and clothes before Chinese New Year.

Melissa Sebastian, from the Salvation Army Regional Headquarters Malaysia, concurred.

She said although they were collecting items all year round, “typically, our peak period is between December and Chinese New Year.”

Social enterprise Kloth Cares co-founder Nik Suzila Hassan

echoed this sentiment, too.

“It seems like Malaysians are in the mood to declutter their homes, including wardrobes and shoe racks at this time.

“From our engagement with donors, they are happy that Kloth Cares helps to keep unwanted items away from landfills, ” she said.

In the last week of November, Kloth Cares organised a fabric recycling drive in collaboration with Edotco (an Axiata subsidiary company), where the fabric drop-off centre was at the Shell station in Taman Tun Dr Ismail, Kuala Lumpur.

The day-long recycling drive managed to garner more than 25,000kg of unwanted fabric and textiles.

However, data from KDEB Waste Management Sdn Bhd in 2018 showed that there was no significant change in waste collection during the end of that year.

“Significant changes can be seen usually during festive seasons, for example, Hari Raya. The trend also varies depending on municipalities.

“During Chinese New Year in 2018, waste collected in Klang, Ampang and Selayang saw a reduction.

“The assumption is most of the people return to their hometown for the long break during Chinese New Year.

“This indirectly reduces the amount of waste generated, particularly around the city, ” a KDEB spokesman said.

During a recent visit, StarMetro observed how a family who dropped off unwanted items at Tzu-Chi Foundation’s recycling centre was educated by volunteers about the categories of recyclables.

Tan said the most important thing was educating the public

“We tell them about the 5Rs (refuse, reduce, reuse, repurpose and recyle) and what items can be recycled.

“It is not just about recycling but also preventing wastage and reducing the quantity of rubbish sent to landfills, ” he added.

Tan recalled incidents where people would just dump a bag of rubbish at their doorstep.

“We are not a rubbish dump, ” he stressed.

Instead of throwing away unwanted items that are still in good condition, people can donate it and do their bit for charity.

At Kloth Cares, used goods in good condition are sent in its

original form to NGOs and third world countries.

Medium quality products have to be repurposed into other forms, including industrial wiping cloth and upcycled fuel.

Between Aug 18,2018 and Dec 1 last year, Kloth Cares collected more than 350,000kg of unwanted fabric.

“Overall, more than 80% of the items that we receive are garments and footwear, bags as well as household fabric, ” Nik Suzila said.

Kloth Cares has installed more than 300 fabric bins from August 2018 until now.

More than 90% of its bins are available in Klang Valley while some have been placed in Negri Sembilan and Melaka.

More than 70% of the fabric bins are accessible to the public.

At Tzu-Chi Foundation recycling centre in Taman Desa, donated items in good condition are sold at its Cherish Corner every Saturday from 7am to 3pm.

The money derived from sales are channelled to the foundation.

Xim Phou Moon Welfare Society (XPM) also collects recyclables and items for donation.

XPM women’s section head Amy Wai said volunteers would sort through donated items with books and stationery being given to NGOs or charity homes.

“Antiques and valuable items are auctioned while plastic and glass are sold to vendors.

“The money raised is given to welfare homes and the needy and used to offset administrative costs, ” she said.

XPM used to have collection bins at several locations but they are now limited to some malls.

“This is because some high-rise buildings have their own collection bins.

“Some of our bins were also vandalised, ” Wai said.

The Salvation Army operates family thrift stores at several

locations and their warehouse is in Taman Desaria, Petaling Jaya.

“Our warehouse and thrift stores in Melaka, Ipoh, Penang and Kuching are managed by our social enterprise arm, Red Shield Industries.

“Donors can drop off items at our thrift stores and welfare homes, ” Melissa said.

The type of items which can be donated may differ for each organisation so it is best to check before sending your goods.

Tan said they did not accept bulk furniture (due to space constraints), light bulbs and polystyrene.

“We only select clothes that are in good condition. Those that are not will be given to a vendor where they will be used to make rugs or sent to other places.

“As for electrical items, the ones in good condition are sold at the Cherish Corner, ” he said.

At The Salvation Army, the public is encouraged to donate items that are still in good or reusable condition.

They often receive furniture, clothes, shoes, bags, kitchenware, glassware, electrical items and collectibles such as records and vintage knick-knacks.

“We do not accept faulty items, ” said Melissa.The Salvation ArmyGeneral enquiries: 03-8061 4929

email pr.malaysia@smm.salvationarmy.org or

visit www.salvationarmy.org/malaysia

Red Shield Industries:


Contact: 03-2726 2462

WhatsApp (016-492 1078)

Red Shield Industries Malaysia (Facebook)

Tzu-Chi Foundation Malaysia’s Taman Desa Recycling CentreAddress: Lot PT1700 Jalan 3/109F,

Taman Danau Desa, 58100 Kuala Lumpur. (Opposite Shell petrol station)

Opening hours: Monday and Wednesday 2pm-5pm, Friday 7.30pm-9.30pm, Saturday 9am-5pm

Contact: 03-6256 3800 or email info@tzuchi.my

Xim Phou Moon

Contact: 014-833 8999/ 016-699 2292 or visit www.xpmcaringworld.com

Kloth Cares@KlothLifestyle on Instagram and Facebook

email: ask@kloth.com.my

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