Make it convenient for us to segregate waste, say Malaysians

Plastic, glass or paper: A group of volunteers sorting out the waste sent by the public at a recycling centre in Sri Damansara, Petaling Jaya. — AZLINA ABDULLAH/ The Star

PETALING JAYA: When Nur Athirah Mohammad’s mother brought her to a recycling centre near their home in Presint 9, Putrajaya, to recycle their segregated waste, she knew that she was on to a good habit.

The 22-year-old student said her mother has made waste segregation the norm.

“I was really excited to go to the recycling centre. It was convenient for us because it was nearby,” she said.

However, since she moved to another house further away, her enthusiasm for recycling has faded.

“It was convenient for us and of course, we love and want to save the environment. If we can have another recycling centre near our house, I can get back to the waste segregation daily routine,” she said.

Ameera Khan, a clerk, admitted that she does not separate her waste at home.

“I do keep my plastic and later use it to throw my garbage and my used cooking oil, but that’s it.

“It is just too much hassle for me, trying to find a place that buys used cooking oil is already too much work, what more having three or four separate bins to separate my waste,” she said.

Ameera, 37, suggested that recycle bins be placed in every housing area.

“If I go to McDonald’s for example, I will use the bins, so I am pretty sure that if we have these bins back in our housing areas, people will make use of them as well,” she said.

Customs officer Norhani Hashim, 34, said she does try to recycle her waste as much as possible.

“I keep the food containers and use them to store my fresh items, I use newspapers to clean mirrors, I turn plastic bags into garbage bags.”

However, she does not recycle everything at home. She suggested that the government provide incentives to encourage more people to separate their waste and recycle.

“They can also use different trucks to collect different waste, so people will have no other choice but to separate their waste,” she said.

Nurul Aqilah Ismail, 23, who lives in Kuala Lumpur, said she practises waste separation occasionally.

The final year student said her family only recycles when they have a hefty pile of recyclables at home.

“There are no recycling centres in my housing area, so it takes quite an effort to find one.

“Usually, we don’t have much recyclable (material) and we don’t want to go to the centre very often or wait for the pick-up lorry that only passes by occasionally, so we opted to not segregate most of the time,” she said.

Nurul Aqilah added that recycling should be made easier and there should be more recycling bins in housing areas.

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