A 20-YEAR-OLD tree can produce only 50kg of paper.
Despite many efforts have been done, such as education, awareness programmes and workshops, many are still unaware of the importance of recycling.
Buddhist Tzu Chi Merits Society Malaysia commissioner commissioner Khoo Boo Leong said the community was still not ‘matured’ with regard to recycling.
“Just imagine the number of trees we can save through recycling. We managed to recycle 250,645kg or paper last year (2018).
“We need 5,013 number of 20-year-old trees to produce 250,645kg of paper!” Khoo said in an interview.
At the Lumba Kuda Recycle Education Centre, Khoo said the centre has been serving the community for almost 10 years.
“We want to educate the public on recycling and segregating their wastes.
“This centre in Jalan Sekolah La Salle is more than just a recycling centre; it provides education too.
“We encourage those who visit the centre to spend half a day to learn about recycling. Visitors will also have hands-on experience when they visit the centre.
“Waste segregation is also practised here. Besides paper, we separate the wastes into various categories such as plastic, aluminium, clothes, e-waste, steel containers, DVDs, and others.
“Our volunteers will teach them how to do segregate their wastes and do recycling. The visitors can then return home to practise and share their knowledge with their family members,” Khoo said.
Khoo said the Lumba Kuda Recycle Education Centre was also designed to be disabled-friendly.
He said the recycling practice should be inculcated from young.
“Everyone has a role to play to conserve the environment,” he added.
Khoo said that the centre collected 252,271kg of recyclable materials in 2015; 346,027kg in 2016; 313,149kg in 2017 and 335,181kg last year.
“We are thankful to our ‘recycling heroes’ who come to the centre daily to help sort out the recyclables.
“These silent heroes are happy that they can contribute back to the environment and make new friends at the same time,” Khoo said.
Khoo said more civic participation are needed to achieve the Penang2030 vision.
He agreed that volunteerism would be a unique and positive game-changer for the society in Penang.
One of the 16 strategic initiatives of Penang2030 is to ‘Boost participation of youth, women and seniors in community life’.
The Penang2030 vision, ‘A Family-focused Green and Smart State that Inspires the Nation’, has four themes and 16 strategic initiatives.
The four themes are – to increase liveability to enhance quality of life, upgrade the economy to raise household incomes, empower people to strengthen civic participation and invest in built environment to improve resilience.
Those who wished to visit the Lumba Kuda Recycle Education Centre can do so from 9am to 5pm daily.
The centre also opens on Monday from 8pm to 10pm. It closes on the eve, first day and second day of Chinese New Year.
Story by Christopher Tan and Danny Ooi
Pix and video by Law Suun Ting