WRONG:Inconsiderate people are dumping rubbish instead of recyclable items
HOW recycle-conscious are city folk? Judging from what organisations that place recycling boxes around the city have to say, it looks like many city folk either lack knowledge of what constitute recyclable items or they have total disregard for the boxes’ functions by throwing their trash into them.
Beautiful Gate Foundation for the Disabled executive director Sia Siew Chin said upon collecting the items put into in the recycling boxes, the foundation’s sorters find food waste, styrofoam containers, plastic packets and bags and other non-recyclable items such as egg trays as well as broken glasses and bottles in the bins.
"It gives us additional work to separate what's worth recycling and what's not," Sia said.
"When this happens, we have to fork out money to get rid of this waste," she said.
Sia also added that unwanted rubbish cost the foundation about RM80 per trip to the landfill.
The foundation is now trying to place its boxes closer to the foundation's centres for better monitoring. It has six centres in the peninsula. These boxes are also placed near shopping malls where pedestrian traffic is high.
The foundation's worker in its Puchong sorting centre, who wants to be known as Ah Wing, said on average, about 30 per cent of the items found in the recycling boxes are non-recyclable waste.
"Many household items like bottles and polystyrene are of no value.
"But, we do accept used clothes and shoes to be sold at second-hand shops or recycled into materials," he said.
Another organisation, Community Recycle for Charity, accepts furniture, mattresses and used electrical appliances. Its officer Syafawati Razi said they would either resell or give away items that can be used to charities.
"People can call us to come collect bulky items such as sofa, mattresses and cupboards that can still be used.
"If they just dump them beside the recycling boxes, these items will go to waste if they are exposed to the elements," she added.
Syafawati also agreed that some people also throw non-recyclable items into the recycling boxes, treating them as garbage bins.
"People should be educated on what should or should not be dumped into recycling boxes," she said.
Meanwhile, Amithaba Centre's public relations and operations executive Martin Koh said they only see about five per cent of non-recyclable waste in their boxes.
"We usually meet community leaders before we place the recycling boxes at their areas. By doing that, we will be able to educate the public on the purpose of the recycling boxes.
"We also accept used compact discs, papers, plastic bottles and metals," he said.
"Our lorries will come and collect the recyclable items daily," he added.