The people of Petaling Jaya in Selangor excel in sorting and recycling waste in the Klang Valley.
More than 42,000 landed residential properties are now involved in the Petaling Jaya City Council (MBPJ) curbside recycling collection, which is in its fourth phase, and the number is expected to increase as new locations are added. at each stage.
This is double the number of households participating in a similar exercise in neighboring Subang Jaya.
MBPJ hopes that the whole city of Petaling Jaya will participate in this project by 2024.
The project is the brainchild of director of MBPJ’s solid waste management and public cleaning department, Lee Lih Shyan.
Initially entirely managed by the town hall, it now operates within the framework of extended producer responsibility (REP).
EPR is an approach that sees manufacturers play a significant role in waste management.
Lee said curbside recycling collection – also known as curbside recycling – involved four partners, namely KPT Recycle Sdn Bhd, MBPJ, Nestlé and Tetra Pak.
“In 2016, MBPJ first rolled out its pilot project.
“Funded and managed by the city council, it covered sections 10, 11, 12, 16 and 22.
“In 2018, the project was officially implemented in Bandar Utama and KPT Recycle became the first project partner,” he explained.
The project, Lee explained, was expanded in 2020 based on the EPR model when Nestlé and Tetra Pak came on board.
“A memorandum of understanding was signed between all parties involved in August 2020.”
He said the project has been well received by residents of Petaling Jaya, with some more motivated to participate at the prospect of receiving a yellow bin.
Leaflets about the recycling project are first distributed to homes in a neighborhood selected for the project.
The leaflet contains information on the types of items that are collected for recycling, such as paper, cardboard, plastic, empty beverage cans, aluminum cans and tin cans.
Clean glass bottles are also accepted.
However, used diapers, tissues, wrapping paper, plastic bags, glass kitchen utensils, light bulbs, china and paint cans are some of the items that are not accepted.
Lee said the yellow recycling bin was an incentive for some to participate in the activity.
“People can’t wait to get it, but we only give them the bins when they’ve been consistent in recycling.
“It’s just a plastic container that costs RM35 but it helps create a bit of excitement among people,” he added.
Lee said that during the first phase of the project, a recycling contest was held in selected neighborhoods.
“We donated benches made from recycled Tetra Pak packaging and they were placed in a park in Bandar Sri Damansara.
“It was also one of Nestlé’s first EPR projects,” he said, adding that KPT Recycle helped with the collection process and sent collected items for recycling.
“Without partnerships, the project becomes costly to maintain for the town hall.
“Nestlé is helping fill the gaps.
“For example, Nestlé will help defray any additional costs if the cost of collecting the waste is more than the resale value of the collected items,” Lee said.
He revealed that the council also had RM12,000 under its Tetra Pak 3R Trust Fund.
“This fund is used for educational and informational purposes regarding the project,” he added.
KPT Recycle Sdn Bhd consultant Jaron Keng said the project was a success in part because of the maturity of Petaling Jaya townspeople.
“Compared to other towns in the Klang Valley, Petaling Jaya residents’ understanding of recycling and their commitment to sorting waste is impressive.
“In areas like Ara Damansara, we had 80% participation in six months.
“In Bandar Sri Damansara, we had 70% turnout,” he said.
By comparison, he noted that only about 20,000 households participated in the door-to-door recycling project in Subang Jaya.
“For every eight houses that participate in Petaling Jaya, only five will participate in Subang Jaya,” he observed.
“The quality of recyclable materials is also the best in Petaling Jaya as residents understand that contaminated items cannot be recycled,” he added.
“We went to the more affluent and wealthier areas of Petaling Jaya because they have more purchasing power and throw away more waste,” Keng said.
“Interestingly, we get good quality recyclables from them because they are good at separating waste, which makes recycling more efficient,” he said.
The program will start in Klang next month, where it expects some 12,000 households to participate.
According to MBPJ figures, recyclable waste consists of 40% paper and cardboard, 25% non-recyclable plastics such as those contaminated with food or chemical waste, 16% recyclable plastic, 12% glass, 5% metal, 1% aluminum and 1% electronics.
“People are receptive when we have little carnivals to explain the importance of recycling and the recycling process,” Keng said.
He said the project was the first such home recycling program with a voluntary REP model in Malaysia.
“The concept is based on a single stream of dry mixed recyclables sent to a recycling center to be sorted and recycled or reprocessed into secondary materials.
“The non-recyclable materials that are sorted, consisting mainly of plastics, are delivered to a waste-derived fuel facility at Chemor, Ipoh in Perak, to be converted into alternative fuel for surrounding cement kilns,” he said. added.
Keng said a new app will be launched as an innovative interactive platform for this program.
“This allows for efficient notification and communication with residents.
“Curbside recycling serves as a cornerstone for MBPJ to develop a separate waste collection system in the city, enabling it to achieve a sustainable and integrated waste management model.
“It will be based on the concept of circular economy,” Keng added.