Friday, January 18, 2013

Kota Kinabalu’s First Recycling Centre

A song entitled, “A Clean Earth” marked the opening of Tzu Chi’s first recycling centre in Kota Kinabalu.【Photograph by Yong Sui Mee】
Tzu Chi Recycling Centre
The first recycling centre in Kota Kinabalu was officially opened recently. The developer, Sinar Pembangunan, has leased out the centre at a token rental fee of RM1/-. Senior citizens living in the vicinity have been gathering in this centre since it started operation in July 2012.

"Ready, one, two, three... pull!" A pack of recyclables hanging in the air was released to signify the official launch of Tzu Chi Kota Kinabalu's first recycling centre.

The launching ceremony for Tzu Chi's Taman Suria Recycling Centre in Penampang was held on November 3, 2012. As the centre is provided by Sinar Pembangunan at a token rental fee of RM1/-, it was fitting that representatives from the developer were invited to witness this significant moment. This project was realized after volunteers made several attempts to communicate Tzu Chi's efforts in protecting the environment to the local developer.

Lim How Gong, Manager of Sinar Pembangunan said, "We have built 2,000 houses in Taman Suria and Penampang to accommodate 20,000 residents." He supports what Tzu Chi is doing for the environment and is confident that the centre will enhance the residents' awareness in protecting Mother Earth.

Since its operation in July 2012, the centre has been collecting four tons of recyclables every month. Volunteers have been disseminating information on environmental protection to the residents, as well as, taught them how to sort recyclables into different categories.

Contributing on behalf of late husband

In order to educate more people on environmental protection, retiree Kong Siew Ying, who is in charge of the centre, has made extra efforts in providing free transportation to those who are keen to help out at the centre.

Siew Ying said, "I am willing to take up these two tasks, that is, to be the person-in-charge of the centre and to fetch those who are keen to help to the centre." Besides treating it as a responsibility, she hopes to fulfill her late husband's wish to contribute to environmental protection. Her late husband was a Tzu Chi volunteer, who passed away a few years ago.

Age is not a problem

Tzu Chi's Taman Suria Recycling Centre opens every Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 9am to 4pm. Sixty-year old Leong Soh Moi always accompanys her husband, a stroke victim, in sorting recyclables.

Soh Moi informed, "Before this, we are either watching TV or sleeping at home. Through providing assistance at the centre, our lives have become meaningful. Besides, it is also a form of exercise for us; and this is extremely helpful to my husband, who had a stroke before."

Hiew Kon Kun, a 63-year old retiree, said, "I feel happy that I am able to help out at the centre. Initially, I was quite worried about my inability to help at the centre due to my age. But, when I saw other senior citizens handling the task of sorting recyclables with ease, my fear dissipated. I then promised myself that I need to come here more often to contribute my efforts in protecting the environment."

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