Residents want redundant, unsightly cages removed

Khairul says one resident turned the cage into a chicken coop.

IT started out as a noble initiative to encourage recycling but after seven years, many Kuala Lumpur residents believe it is time for the programme to be suspended.

The project was introduced in Kuala Lumpur in 2016 by the then Housing and Local Government Ministry (now known as the Local Government Development Ministry) and later expanded to other states like Negri Sembilan.

The cages were distributed to residents living in stratified properties, including government housing schemes like People’s Housing Projects (PPR).

Many residents claim the programme has been a failure and it has little effect in encouraging them to sort their recyclables.

ALSO READ: Broken cages

“It did not work for us. In fact, it was a failure,” said PPR Desa Tun Razak Rukun Tetangga chairman Ngatemin Buang.

“We have written to Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL) and Alam Flora and have asked for the cages to be removed,” Ngatemin said.

“It’s not working because residents are collecting recyclables like plastic and aluminum cans to sell to recycling centres. So these cages are redundant and serve no purpose.”

He added that the cages have become a nuisance and people were dumping unsorted waste into them.

Residents of PPR Intan Baiduri in Kepong, Kuala Lumpur, agree.

“One resident took it and repurposed it into a chicken coop,” said former Block A chief Khairul Anuwar Yusoff.

“As a member of a non-governmental organisation (NGO) that supports recycling programmes, I must say that the level of awareness and enthusiasm for recycling is just not there yet.

“We teamed up with a company to buy used cooking oil at the PPR, but sadly not many were interested and people still pour cooking oil down their sinks,” Khairul said.

Brickfields’ Palm Court Apartment resident K. Thilaga said the building management had written to the authorities to have the cages removed a long time ago.

“It was a failure from day one. Everyone knew these were for recyclables, yet they dumped rubbish into the cages,” she said.

ALSO READ: SWCorp: Recycling cages to remain despite low usage

Persatuan Socio Ekonomi & Alam Sekitar (Perseas), an NGO specialising in recycling and repurposing recyclables, blamed poor response for the programme’s failure.

“We removed the cages in PPR Pekan Kepong as it was underutilised and residents were already active in recycling,” said Perseas founder Nor Hilmi Mohamed.

“We have a team of residents here who have been working with DBKL, Local Agenda 21 (LA21) on recycling and they have their own system in place.

“Moreover, we have been working with DBKL on the 1Community, 1Recycling (1C1R) programme that is doing very well.”

1C1R is a barter programme initiated to encourage residents from low-income groups to separate domestic waste and exchange it for food items.

In an interview with StarMetro in 2016, the then SWCorp deputy chief executive officer Dr Mohd Pauze Mohamad Taha said that the agency would not suspend the recycling cage project even if only 5% of residents were using the cages correctly.

He had also said that SWCorp would continue educating residents on proper waste management and recycling.

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