Changing waste for good

The idea of establishing Zaquin Enterprise as a start-up company focused on cleaning services and landscaping emerged in late 2004.

A LESS-TALKED-ABOUT aspect of environmental, social and governance (ESG) is circularity, better known as the circular economy.

Specifically, there’s a strong connection between clean water (SDG 6), affordable and clean energy (SDG 7), responsible consumption and production (SDG 12) and life on land (SDG 15).

The circular economy emphasises not only waste management, but also reuse, recycling and responsible manufacturing to support the development of new industries, reduce emissions and increase efficient use of natural resources.

For Zaquin Resources Sdn Bhd (Zaquin), its managing director and founder Ahmad Tarmimi Tahang goes one step further to pursue the net zero waste goal and to achieve circularity in the waste management industry.

Established in 2004, Zaquin grew from a small waste and environmental services provider to a company that now employs over 60 full-time staff with operations in metropolitan and remote locations around Johor Baru.

Collaborating with local authorities by providing waste management services and cleaning services, among others, Ahmad explains that his vision is to provide services for the community.

He explains, “The service industry is a tough one but for us it’s a two-way street, where both Zaquin and the community we serve benefit from our services. We want to contribute in a meaningful way to the public and to the country.”

“Wherever we live, a clean environment directly improves the quality of day-to-day life - it means a healthier life, less diseases and less pollution. So for Zaquin, we want to make sure that the environment remains liveable.”

EcoWorld's Eco South region, which includes the developer's Eco Business Parks, have contributed to a total of 14% of 28,129kg of recyclable waste in 2021.EcoWorld's Eco South region, which includes the developer's Eco Business Parks, have contributed to a total of 14% of 28,129kg of recyclable waste in 2021.

The environmental benefits of reducing waste are obvious for many.

Reducing waste means improving resource efficiency. As our finite resources become scarcer, their prices go up with long-lasting impacts on the environment.

Zaquin explores the circular economy through its values, activities and operations.

“Normal activities across industries follow a linear chain, but by reusing and reutilising resources, we can reduce the amount going into landfills.

“The value chain in waste management starts with waste generation then storage, recycling or recovery, treatment and disposal. For a circular economy model, up until the disposal stage, we don’t dispose of waste. Instead, we reuse the waste as energy or resources,” he says.

By improving their storage capabilities, Zaquin is able to be more efficient in the recovery and treatment stage.

He adds, “We plan our separation at the source (waste generation) so it’s easier for us to recycle, recover and treat the waste. The less waste you generate, the less it will cost you.

According to Ahmad, the smart deep collection system uses sensors underground to improve waste collection activities.According to Ahmad, the smart deep collection system uses sensors underground to improve waste collection activities.

“We also introduced a new method of collection via smart deep collection systems – which has already been implemented for over a decade in Europe – and localised it for the communities we serve.”

Zaquin’s current headquarters is based in EcoWorld’s Eco Business Park I, where the company started its waste collection services previously for EcoWorld and their developments in Johor.

Ahmad and his team at Zaquin attribute the ability to take an integrated approach to sustainability and circularity to EcoWorld, which he says shares the same goals.

“We actively welcome businesses such as Zaquin Resources to our projects as their presence can help create awareness and appreciation of the importance of environmental responsibility,” says EcoWorld Development Group Bhd president and chief executive officer Datuk Chang Khim Wah.

He added, “EcoWorld also believes strongly in co-creation. One of the ways we do this is via close collaboration with academics, researchers and non-governmental organisations to evaluate how our efforts to combat climate change can be improved, as demonstrated by the pilot carbon capture study project undertaken at Eco Ardence, which was featured in our Sustainability Report 2021.”

As a supporter of the circular economy too, Chang noted that “recognising one person’s waste can be another’s treasure” ensures that the developer is always looking for opportunities to work with like-minded people and businesses.

“Wherever and whenever we can, we organise events that encourage our supply chain and communities to recycle, upcycle and reuse materials and other waste products.

“Working together with like-minded people and businesses will further develop the circular economy and reduce the reliance on landfills whilst contributing to economic growth,” he said.

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