Benefits of backyard gardens

Rozali (white songkok) talking to participants after he handed over the vegetable and compost bins at the MBSP headquarters at Bandar Perda, in Bukit Mertajam. With him is Carlos (right).

BEGINNING next year, Seberang Prai City Council (MBSP) will focus on encouraging individuals to carry out composting and vegetable planting at their homes through its backyard gardening programme.

“Before this, we focused on communities, Village Community Management Councils, non- governmental organisations and residents’ associations.

“While these groups were busy with their composting and vegetable planting, we started approaching individuals to do the same.

“Only 26% of domestic waste are recycled, especially kitchen waste.

“From 2022 until 2030, we will focus on kitchen waste.

“We aim to reduce by 40% the kitchen waste which is being sent to the Pulau Burung landfill near Nibong Tebal,” said MBSP mayor Datuk Rozali Mohamud.

He was speaking before handing over vegetable and compost bins to 20 participants of the backyard gardening programme at council headquarters in Bandar Perda, Bukit Mertajam, Penang.

The programme sponsored by Continental Automotive Components Malaysia Sdn Bhd comprised two phases.

“The first phase was launched on Oct 28 with 150 participants receiving okra seedlings, mixed soil, vegetable seeds and compost,” said Rozali.

“Participants were asked to report pictorially on the development of the vegetable gardens in their backyards at the end of November to enable an assessment to be made.

“They were assessed in order to qualify them for Phase Two.

“The second phase involved 20 participants who successfully carried out gardening activities.

“They each received a 200-litre vegetable and compost bin worth RM200, and mixed soil and other items worth RM100.

“Through the provision of these bins, participants will be taught to produce their own compost through their kitchen waste.

“The programme aims to promote greenery in backyards and at the same time, the vegetable gardens can be a source of food or income for the residents.

“It is also in line with MBSP’s target which is for residents to be able to practise composting from food waste at home.

“The council is keen to achieve a recycling rate of 70% next year.

“Our target is for Seberang Prai to become a low-carbon city by 2022 and a carbon-free city in 2030,” said Rozali.

Also present at the handover of bins were Continental Automotive Components Malaysia Sdn Bhd managing director Carlos A. Cano, MBSP Local Agenda 21 coordinator Chew Eng Seng and several councillors.

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