THE flash floods in Johor Baru last month should serve as a reminder of the importance of proper disposal of solid waste.
“The flood was the result of our own actions and it will only become worse if we continue to ignore the environment,” said SK Taman Suria Environmental Club coordinator Hafizul Syarafi Mohd Noor when contacted recently.
“Some of the congestion in canals and drainage systems in the city centre was caused by improper waste dumping.
“Not only will this lead to safety issues and property damage, it will also put us at risk of health hazards as mosquito breeding grounds spread.”
Hafizul explained further that the school in Taman Suria, Johor Baru had set up its own recycling centre in 2017.
The public can also bring in items that they no longer need.
“We believe this to be the better option compared with disposing of items by the side of the road or worse, into rivers.
“All unwanted items from here will either be sent to SWM Environment Sdn Bhd (SWM Environment) to be disposed of, or can be collected by members of the public who find a use for it,” he added.
The centre — known as the Kuru Kuru Room — houses a variety of items, from unwanted furniture to clothes.
Hafizul said the idea to introduce a recycling centre at the school came up after it became one of the participants in the Iskandar Malaysia Ecolife Challenge (IMELC) organised by Iskandar Regional Development Authority (Irda), Universiti Teknologi Malaysia (UTM) and Johor Education Department.
“This year alone, we have managed to collect 5,170kg worth of recyclable waste in our school,” he added.
Meanwhile, SWM Environment in a statement said the initiative by SK Taman Suria was one of the best ways to teach schoolchildren how to reduce waste, or make income from waste, and to encourage environmental sustainability.
“SK Taman Suria is one of the schools active in encouraging students, teachers, parents and the local community to participate in their recycling programmes.
“The school has also recorded one of the highest recyclable waste collections under the IMELC New Norm programme, with 11,000kg of waste in 2020, compared with 6,170kg waste in 2019,” it added.