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Last updateWed, 11 Nov 2015 11am

Sunday, 10 May 2015 10:40

New Educational Recycling Centre to Promote Care for Earth in Communities

Written by  Tsze Hut Sea, Kota Tinggi / Translated by Chew Chiau Ping

Volunteers creatively recycled red packets into embroidered balls and tied cans and bottles to ribbon for the ribbon-cutting ceremony. [Photograph by Wang Guan Feng]

On May 10, 2015, the opening of Kota Tinggi Recycling-cum-Education Centre was held in conjunction with the celebration of Buddha’s Day, Mother’s Day and Tzu Chi’s Day. Members of the public came to witness this eventful moment with their blessings.


 
“We are really thankful for every piece of brick, sand and tile you have contributed to Tzu Chi for this cultivation ground,” said volunteer Chow Khoon Kiong as he thanked donating members for their contributions towards the successful completion of the new recycling centre, a place for public members to give and share joyfully.
 
Fulfil social responsibility by donating a venue for recycling
 
Yen Guo Ying, who donated the venue, was invited to officiate the opening of the recycling centre. He said happily, “Seeing how well you have all done, I know I have made the right decision.” 
 
Volunteer Saw Lee See recalled these words of wisdom from Master Cheng Yen during her visit to Taiwan in 2009: “Our environment is degrading and being destroyed. Recycling can nurse the Earth back to health, thus it is our responsibility and mission to care for this Earth that we live in.” Lee See then suggested to her husband, Guo Ying, to offer a piece of vacant land for the set-up of a recycling centre.
 
Guo Ying, an entrepreneur and President of Kota Tinggi Che Teng Khor Moral Uplifting Society, wished to fulfil his social responsibility. Moved by Tzu Chi’s contribution in environmental protection, especially in educating the younger generation, he decided to donate the land unconditionally to Tzu Chi for the establishment of a recycling centre.
 
The new Tzu Chi Educational Recycling Centre occupied an agricultural land with an area of 1.5 acres in Taman Kota Jaya, Kota Tinggi. Back in November 2011, volunteer Liu Han Shan filed an application with Kota Tinggi Land Office to register the land for the set-up of a recycling centre but was unsuccessful.
 
They then tried to apply for an operating licence through a lease arrangement with the land owner. However, due to complicated and slow processing, the licence to construct and operate the recycling centre was only approved in February 2014. Not only did Guo Ying donate the land, he also laid the groundwork and sponsored the gravel road.
 
Quit job to focus on completing the construction early
 
Volunteer Lim Tian Peng, who is the Recycling Coordinator, quit his job at a furniture factory in May 2014 to focus fully on the construction of the recycling centre, which included sourcing for building contractors and overseeing the construction work.
 
He said, “I hope our very first educational recycling centre in Kota Tinggi will be completed in time to promote environmental protection in the communities and engage more public members to recycle.”
 
When Tian Peng learnt about the use of interlocking bricks in temporary housing in the Philippines from Da Ai TV news, he decided to follow suit by using bamboos in place of steel bars to form the interlocking bricks on the ground. To save cost, he would cut the bamboos into poles and layer them under the cement.
 
After persevering for nearly a year, he is gratified to see the completion of the recycling centre, which is now ready for operation. Next, he hoped to turn the vacant land around the centre into “Da Ai Farm” by planting fruits, vegetables and flowers. A place filled with green and clean air is a perfect place for walking and other activities. Therefore, he hopes that volunteers and residents can jointly cultivate this great field of blessings.
 
Entering a new milestone in environmental conservation
 
Volunteer Koon Yin Cheng, who often drives the elderly for recycling work, would come to the centre everyday to help out with the paintwork and gardening. Some volunteers used recycled cans to spell out the word “Tzu Chi” on the fence, while some wrote Jing Si Aphorisms on cans or CDs to hang on the beams. There is also a mural that depicts ten benefits of recycling. Volunteers have indeed put their joint efforts together to decorate the place for its official launching.
 
On May 10, 2015, which coincided with the Buddha’s Day, Mother’s Day and Tzu Chi’s Day, crowds gathered at Kota Tinggi Educational Recycling Centre to witness its opening on this glorious and significant day.
 
Volunteers had creatively recycled red packets into embroidered ball and tied cans and bottles to the ribbon. The guests and volunteers merrily cut the ribbon before stepping on cans and bottles to flatten them. With blessings from over 200 people, the ceremony marked a new milestone in Kota Tinggi’s environmental conservation.
 
Yin Cheng hoped that the recycling centre will serve as a cultivation ground to attract public members, teachers, students, groups and institutions to experience the joy of recycling and raise awareness on environmental protection. Hopefully, this will inspire them to become volunteers and jointly cultivate the “Da Ai Farm” for a better living environment.
 
Recycling Centre, a happy place for elderly
 
Some recycling volunteers have started the operation of the long-awaited centre two months ago even though it was not fully equipped then. Among them are the elderly, who often come in groups to “earn happiness” at the recycling centre that is deemed a happy place for them.
 
Seventy-two-year-old Mo Hui Juan, who is an active participant in recycling activities, practises recycling at home. Witnessing the opening of the recycling centre, she expressed happily, “I am glad, I am happy. To do recycling is fulfilling.”
 
Seventy-one-year-old Chen Zai Qin, who became a recycling volunteer a year ago, is glad that the centre is near his home so he can visit it every day. He said cheerfully, “There are many brothers and sisters (volunteers) here to chat with. We often share our joy and ways to sort recyclables.”
 
Hong Yu Ying, who is in her 70s, has been a regular at the centre. As she can ride motorcycle, she often helps the elderly with no transport to send recyclables to the centre. She stated, “I make many friends through recycling and we chat. Life is not boring and I won’t think unnecessarily. Now I live happily.”
 
A petite 78-year-old Li Yu Chun is another regular at the centre. Whenever there is a request to deliver recyclables, he would promptly offer his help using his 20-year-old van. Yu Chun, who stays alone remarked, “Doing recycling keeps my worries away. It is a blessing to be able to do it.”
 
Yin Cheng was deeply impressed by the elderly volunteers’ dedication to recycling. She said, “I hope this educational recycling centre will serve as a venue for the elderly to seek refuge, and subsequently turn the monthly Recycling Day into a daily fun activity.”
 
 
At the end of the ceremony, volunteers performed a sign language for the song, “Everyone Does Recycling” with lyrics that say: “Hey folks, let’s gather up and recycle. You and I recycle for a healthy body and clear mind, leading to a happy life.” Through the lively rhythm, volunteers invited everyone to recycle for a better environment.
 
 

 
Lim Tian Peng quit his job at a furniture factory to focus fully on the construction of the educational recycling centre. [Photograph by Lee Keng Shiang]   Lim Tian Peng used bamboos in place of steel bars, which he cut into poles and layered them under the cement to save cost. [Photograph by Lim Tian Peng]

Lim Tian Peng quit his job at a furniture factory to focus fully on the construction of the educational recycling centre. [Photograph by Lee Keng Shiang]
 
Lim Tian Peng used bamboos in place of steel bars, which he cut into poles and layered them under the cement to save cost. [Photograph by Lim Tian Peng]
 
The exterior view of the recycling centre located at Taman Kota Jaya, Kota Tinggi. [Photograph by Tsze Hut Sea]   The recycling centre sat on 1.5 acres of land. Volunteers also set up a “Da Ai Farm” on the vacant land to plant fruits and vegetables. [Photograph by Tsze Hut Sea]

The exterior view of the recycling centre located at Taman Kota Jaya, Kota Tinggi. [Photograph by Tsze Hut Sea]
 
 
The recycling centre sat on 1.5 acres of land. Volunteers also set up a “Da Ai Farm” on the vacant land to plant fruits and vegetables. [Photograph by Tsze Hut Sea]
 
Volunteers sincerely invited the audience to recycle by performing a sign language for the song, “Everyone Does Recycling”. [Photograph by Lee Keng Shiang]   The landowner, Yen Guo Ying (left), who wished to fulfil his social responsibility, was moved by Tzu Chi’s contribution in environmental protection, thus he donated a vacant land unconditionally to Tzu Chi to set up a recycling centre. [Photograph by Wang Guan Feng]

Volunteers sincerely invited the audience to recycle by performing a sign language for the song, “Everyone Does Recycling”. [Photograph by Lee Keng Shiang]
 
 
The landowner, Yen Guo Ying (left), who wished to fulfil his social responsibility, was moved by Tzu Chi’s contribution in environmental protection, thus he donated a vacant land unconditionally to Tzu Chi to set up a recycling centre. [Photograph by Wang Guan Feng]
 
Seventy-eight-year-old recycling volunteer, Li Yu Chun (right) often helps in delivering recyclables using his old van. [Photograph by Lee Keng Shiang]    

Seventy-eight-year-old recycling volunteer, Li Yu Chun (right) often helps in delivering recyclables using his old van. [Photograph by Lee Keng Shiang]