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Last updateWed, 11 Nov 2015 11am

Sunday, 12 April 2015 17:56

New Kahang Recycling Centre cum Cultivation Ground

Written by  Chong Yoon Ming & Lau Poh Ling, Kluang / Translated by Chew Chiau Ping

A joint ribbon cutting ceremony with the audiences was held to officiate the opening of Kahang Recycling Centre. [Photograph by See Kuan Heng]

In 2003, Tzu Chi volunteer, Quan Hui Fu offered his ancestral home to Tzu Chi to set up a recycling centre. However, due to its remoteness and insufficient basic facilities, volunteers decided to seek for another location. After more than a year of searching, they finally rented a single storey shop lot as the new recycling centre to engage more public members to recycle and serve as a venue to learn and share the Dharma.


 
Back in August 1999, Tzu Chi volunteers organized the first recycling activity at a Kuan Yin Temple in Kahang, 22 miles away from Kluang. The activity received a good turnout where over 4,000 kg of recyclables were collected, and gave rise to the recycling practices in the quiet town of Kahang.
 
In 2003, volunteer Quan Hui Fu kindly offered his ancestral home to Tzu Chi to set up a recycling centre so that villagers will have a permanent spot for recycling at designated times instead of limiting it to two to four times a year. However, as the centre was situated in a remote location and lacking basic facilities such as street lights, volunteers could not carry out recycling activity in the night time.
 
The volunteers had hoped to get a place to serve both as a recycling centre and also a place to learn and share the Dharma. To get a corner shop lot with bigger space was a challenge.
 
After more than a year of searching, finally in November 2014, they found the ideal place where the owner agreed to let it to Tzu Chi below the market price. The shop house which used to be covered in dirt and weeds took on a new look after much hard work from volunteers who came every day to trim the trees and weeds, install fans and lights, clean and paint the place.
 
A week ahead of its official launch scheduled on April 12, 2015, volunteers distributed flyers and were going door to door to invite the villagers to the opening ceremony at night. As it coincided with the Recycling Day held every two months, volunteers also extended the invitation to those villagers who brought recyclables to the new centre.
 
A cultivation ground for public to learn and practise
 
To prepare for the opening of recycling centre, Chen Bi Lian volunteered in the planning of the centre’s operation. Being a first timer, she had sleepless night worrying her lack of knowledge would hamper her ability in carrying out the task.
 
However she managed to overcome obstacles with the help from other volunteers. She hoped the new recycling centre will organize more activities to inspire more members of the public to recycle and subsequently become uniformed volunteers.
 
On the opening day, Village Head Liu Cheng Xiang was the first to arrive. When volunteers showed him around the centre, he noticed there was no proper drainage system and promptly offered to assist with the application to upgrade the system. He hoped that teachers could arrange field trip to the recycling centre to educate the children on environmental protection.
 
A joint ribbon cutting ceremony with the audiences was the highlight of the opening ceremony. The ribbon was made from recyclables such as clothes, cans, glass, papers, books, steel wire, PET bottles, polystyrene, branches from trees and et cetera.
 
This was followed by those present dropping the recyclables they brought onto the respective recycle bins. This idea was to create awareness for the villagers to differentiate recyclables and non-recyclables.
 
A team of volunteers put up a performance using Taiwanese Hokkien dialect, with the aim to invite the audience to recycle. The performance conveyed the concepts of “turning thrash into gold, gold into love, and love into a stream of goodness that circles around the world”.
 
In his speech, Ong Seng Yeow, person-in-charge of Kluang Liaison Office thanked Hui Fu for his tremendous support for the past eleven years. He went on to thank the Kahang Primary School and Local Council Basketball Court Management Committee in providing free venue for carrying out the recycling activities in the past few years.
 
Kahang Recycling Centre liaison person, He Guo Rong (whose affinity with Tzu Chi began through recycling) and the recycling team took the opportunity to thank the audiences for coming to the opening ceremony. Besides sharing his joy in recycling, he invited villagers to come forward for recycling every Monday and Friday night for a cleaner environment.
 
With encouragement from volunteer Wong Wen Jun, a few foreign workers from East Timor would initiate recycling at the construction site and send the recyclables to the centre once every two months. These foreign workers are also monthly donors; thus besides contributing in cash, they also contribute in kind through recycling and they are an inspiration.
 
By 9 pm, the simple opening ceremony ended on a high note hoping that the establishment of this recycling centre will create awareness and attract more members of the public to participate.
 
 

 
Volunteers decided to seek a new place as the old recycling centre was situated in a remote location and lacked basic facilities. [Photograph by Lau Poh Ling]   Outer view of the new recycling centre. [Photograph by See Kuan Heng]

Volunteers decided to seek a new place as the old recycling centre was situated in a remote location and lacked basic facilities. [Photograph by Lau Poh Ling]
 
Outer view of the new recycling centre. [Photograph by See Kuan Heng]
 
A week ahead of the official launch, volunteers distributed flyers going door to door, inviting villagers to the opening ceremony. [Photograph by Zhong Yong Min]   As the centre’s opening coincided with the monthly Recycling Day, a lot of villagers brought recyclables to the new centre for sorting. [Photograph by Zhong Yong Min]

A week ahead of the official launch, volunteers distributed flyers going door to door, inviting villagers to the opening ceremony. [Photograph by Zhong Yong Min]
 
 
As the centre’s opening coincided with the monthly Recycling Day, a lot of villagers brought recyclables to the new centre for sorting. [Photograph by Zhong Yong Min]
 
Liaison officer of Kahang Recycling Centre, He Guo Rong (holding microphone) and the recycling team invited villagers to participate. [Photograph by See Kuan Heng]    

Liaison officer of Kahang Recycling Centre, He Guo Rong (holding microphone) and the recycling team invited villagers to participate. [Photograph by See Kuan Heng]