By Sarva Mangala Praveena
SERDANG – Schoolchildren from seven Tamil-type primary schools in Hulu Langat recently participated in a SJKT Green Pilot Programme which was held from April to May to instil awareness on the importance of 3R recycling concept (reduce, reuse and recycle) and to trigger a positive sign in recycling.
The pilot programme was held in cooperation with Universiti Putra Malaysia (UPM) and a Non-Governmental Organization, Persatuan Transformasi Masyarakat Dan Industri Melalui Pendidikan Dan Penyelidikan.
The programme was organized and funded using a special allocation by UPM’s Special Unit for Socio-Economic Development Of The Indian Community (SEDIC), led by Dr Sarva Mangala Praveena from the Department of Environmental Sciences and Employment, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences.
It involved the participation of 141 primary school children and 39 teachers from SJKT Semenyih, SJKT Ladang Dominion, SKJT Ladang Rinching, SJKT Bangi, SJKT Ladang West Country, SJKT Ampang and SJKT Kajang, together with five lecturers and UPM’s Year
Three and Year One undergraduates from the Faculty of Environmental Sciences and Employment of the Medicine and Health Sciences Faculty.
The programme was in line with the government’s target to increase the recycling rate to 22 per cent by 2020 and in support of the government’s policy which made Separation of Waste Materials compulsory starting June 1, 2016.
The main focus of the programme was to impart knowledge about recycled items and the 3R concept, with focus on educating the students on ways to separate the recyclable items and to put into practice the knowledge they gained about recycling in school and at home.
For the 3R concept, the focus was on efforts to reduce the use of plastic bottles which required high treatment and management cost at landfills.
In the 3R program, students were taught how to produce a pencil case and a piggy bank, aimed at instilling creativity and innovation using recycled waste plastic bottles.
The programme provided an opportunity for students to put into practice the concept of training in environmental sciences. Students and teachers could impart the knowledge on recycling to their family members, neighbours and other members of the public within their neighbourhoods.
The next phase of the programme will centre on the placement of recycling bins in all schools that are involved in a programme, involving UPM and the Sepang Municipal Council. The availability of such facilities is considered to be the major factor that can determine the success of the recycling programme.
The SJKT Green Pilot Programme, hopefully, can serve as the catalyst for the start of consistent recycling programmes in schools, through the application of “Waste to Wealth” concept in which the income generated from the recycling programme can be used for other school activities.
This phase is also in line with the Master Plan of the National Solid Waste Management Strategy which is aimed at ensuring proper and more effective management in the reduction and treatment of solid wastes.