Recycling may seem like a tedious process, but it really isn't that difficult and should actually be something everyone does without hesitation. The first thing to keep in mind is the basic separation of the main items that can be recycled - paper, plastic, aluminium and glass.
It is said that of the 17 billion cubic feet of timber harvested globally, over 60 per cent is used for paper production. Paper can be recycled a certain number of times before the fibres break down. Hence the more paper we recycle, the less trees relatively get chopped down.
Besides recycling, consider reducing your paper usage by using scrap paper instead the next time you need a sticky note or DIY your own memo pad. Think twice before you print as we live in an age of technology where information can be easily stored through apps and smartphones.
Food for thought - in less than 100 years, there will be no more rainforests worldwide if we keep up our rate of deforestation.
Unfortunately, plastic isn't biodegradable and they end up in landfills, potentially leaking pollutants into the soil and water. Millions of tonnes of plastic also end up in our oceans annually and have terrible effects on marine life, eventually even ending up in the food chain and in our bodies.
The easiest way to alleviate this problem is to drastically reduce plastic consumption and adopt a change in habit – for example, using reusable shopping bags, bringing a lunch box for your takeaways and opting for products in paper containers instead of plastic can make a difference.
Aluminium and Glass
When you recycle aluminium and glass, you're saving more than 90 per cent of the energy that is needed to make new glass or extract metals from one. In fact, recycling one glass bottle saves enough energy to power a TV for one and a half hours. Glass can be recycled over and over again and it's a relatively simple process of melting it down and remoulding to make new bottles, while aluminium melts at a low temperature, making it very easy to recycle.
While Malaysia still has a long way to go to reach international recycling standards, there has been an upsurge in environmental concern, leading to local councils in certain areas setting up recycling bins. So, be sure to note where the nearest one is in your neighbourhood.
Here are a few recycling centres and environmentally-friendly initatives to help you get started:
UrbanR Recycle +
The recycling and waste management organisation collects things like papers, plastics, metals, computers, electronics and electrical, old clothing, beverage cartons, batteries across Klang Valley. It either recycles, resells, donates or discards (as a last resort) the items it collects.
Tel: 017-212 2898
IPC Recycling & Buy Back Center
Find IPC's Recycling & Buy-Back Centre at the Loading Bay area (behind the centre). You can drop off your fused fluorescent tubes, light bulbs and batteries here or IKEA Exchanges & Return counter. The centre offers a buy-back rate with an average of RM0.20 per kg for materials like cardboard, plastic and paper.
Tel: 03-7730 0333
The Hive - Bulk Foods
This Bangsar cooperative partners with local organic farmers, Orang Asli organic farms and other local organic producers comprising women entrepreneurs, social enterprises, the disabled and refugees to provide over 50 bulk whole foods. Their offerings includes cooking ingredients, condiments, household products, personal care items, stationeries and much more.
Tel: 017-680 4221
Community Recycle for Charity (CRC)
If you have unwanted furniture to get rid of, let CRC take a load off you. Everything you donate to CRC is passed on to charity homes and those in need. Items that aren't sent to welfare homes are sold off at afforable prices with the proceeds used to fulfill charity wish lists. Some of the clothes (especially store-rejects) donated by companies and individuals are given away freely to those in need.
Tel: 03-8737 9151