Embrace recycling and reduce waste, public told

Ng showing how waste such as bottles are separated into boxes and plastic bags at his house.

WITH the movement control order (MCO) in place, people must be responsible in segregating domestic waste, be more environmentally conscious and practise recycling, says an environmental non-governmental organisation.

Ipoh City Watch president Prof Dr Richard Ng said that with the MCO implemented to curb the spread of Covid-19 virus and restricting movement of people, it might lead to a big drop in food wastage and waste.

However, he said the people still needed to purchase takeaway food or cook meals for themselves.

“The amount of household rubbish generated may remain the same or may be more.

“Each household is estimated to generate more than 5kg of rubbish per week or 20kg in the duration of the MCO.

“During this period, I want to remind the people on the importance of keeping the environment clean, ” he said.

Ng said there were about 250,000 households in the Kinta district, which meant there would be some 5,000 tonnes of rubbish at the end of four weeks of MCO.

He said while everyone was worried about the pandemic, people must not forget that improper disposal of rubbish could lead to other diseases such as dengue and leptospirosis.

He emphasised this was the best time for everyone to save our planet by embracing recycling and reducing rubbish.

“For instance when buying takeaway food, people should bring their own tiffin carrier or other reusable food containers.

“This is not only safe and clean, but will help to cut down the use of plastics.

“When we go out to buy groceries, bring along reusable bags to reduce reliance on plastic bags.

‘For disposal of household waste, I would like to urge everyone to separate the items and embrace a recycling culture, ” he added.

Ng said it was important to remind ourselves to think before we throw.

He said this could be done easily at home by using a few baskets or separate rubbish bags to place recyclable items such as plastic bottles, aluminium or tin cans, paper wrappers, plastic straws and even used plastic bags.

“Ensure that the items are cleaned first before putting them in the bags or baskets.

“By separating our rubbish, we can help reduce waste at the landfills by about 15%.

“Food waste, which makes up about 40% of rubbish, can also be converted into compost, ” he highlighted.

Ng said compost could be easily done by pouring all food waste excluding meat, bones and fish scraps into a separate rubbish bag with holes, and later adding garden waste to the mix.

He noted that such recycling and composting efforts could help reduce more than half of the rubbish going to landfills and illegal dumpsites.

He also pointed out that people could save water by storing used water after washing vegetables or household cooking utensils for watering garden plants.

“When we practise all these, we move towards a zero-waste society.

“Be an eco-warrior today and be part of the community tackling climate change, ” he said, adding that he had been practising rubbish separation at home.

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