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Last updateWed, 11 Nov 2015 11am

Saturday, 03 October 2015 14:56

Opening of Educational Recycling Centre on Premises of a Hypermarket

Written by  Koh Poo Leng, Klang / Translated by Yap Sui Hong

Tzu Chi volunteers and guests officiated the opening ceremony by cutting a string with aluminium cans tied to it. [Photograph by Lim Poh Choo]

After months of planning and construction, the Tzu Chi Taman Klang Utama Educational Recycling Centre was opened on October 3, 2015, in the presence of 70 Tzu Chi volunteers and local residents. The recycling centre was set up on the premises of Econsave Hypermarket.


 
Since Tzu Chi KL & Selangor initiated an effort to set up “a recycling centre in each community” in 2011, volunteers have been actively seeking suitable venues for this purpose in their respective communities; and volunteers of Taman Klang Utama were no exception. They had been participating in recycling work at Tzu Chi Taman Meru Educational Recycling Centre or Tzu Chi Kapar Recycling Centre.
 
Then in mid-December 2014, volunteer Yow Fong Lon received a call from Seng Ming Choo, a Tzu Chi donating member and a regular at Tzu Chi’s monthly recycling activity, informing that her manager at Econsave Hypermarket had intended to let Tzu Chi set up a recycling station at a corner of the car park. In order to encourage more people to participate in recycling, volunteers proposed to the manager to set up a recycling centre instead of a recycling station, which operates only once a month.
 
In March 2015, and with approval from the Hypermarket, volunteers started making plans to put the 800-square-feet space to effective use. Adopting a green concept, volunteers painted a reclaimed shipping container green and made it a storage place. The silver roofing and fence were made from recycled aluminium foil packaging, with sponsorship from Tetra Pak. Although the recycling centre is free of rental, water and electricity bills, volunteers still practise water saving by creatively making a rainwater harvesting container.
 
A recycling centre on the premises of a hypermarket
 
As Master Cheng Yen often says, “Every day is a good day; every moment is a good moment,” the 13th educational recycling centre of Tzu Chi Klang began its operation on October 3.
 
Around 8 am that day, volunteers were all busily preparing for the opening ceremony. The guests, including Leow Thiam Long, Area Manager of Econsave Taman Klang Utama, were welcomed by volunteers with a cheerful song. Mr Leow, who gets to know Tzu Chi through newspapers and books, had a deep impression on Tzu Chi’s recycling education. He praised the volunteers for their mindfulness after a guided visit around the recycling centre.
 
Econsave Hypermarket is one of the leading domestic grocery retailers in Malaysia, with a total of 60 branches nationwide. With more than ten years of history in Taman Utama Klang, the Hypermarket recently moved to a new building with a larger land area to provide a wider range of economic goods to customers.
 
As a grocery retailer, the Hypermarket supports the government’s initiative to make every Saturday a “No Plastic Bag Day”. The customers are encouraged to bring their own reusable bags to minimize the waste of resources. Its support for environmental protection has also made it possible for Tzu Chi to set up a recycling centre on its Taman Klang Utama premises, making it the first of its kind for the Hypermarket.
 
“Education on environmental protection is essential for everyone, so the company hopes to work together with Tzu Chi in carrying out recycling. Today, I am very happy to see a recycling centre here because we will not waste resources by reusing and recycling them. That’s very good!” remarked Mr Leow smilingly.
 
He believes that recycling will help reduce pollution. He gave an example of the current hazy condition, where a breath of fresh air is considered a luxury. He said, “Although we are slow to start now, I think it is not too late. Hopefully, more people will show support and we can make better progress together. I believe if we can do it well here, the boss will consider setting up recycling centres at other outlets so that more people will learn about recycling.”
 
Recycling helps save the Earth
 
The opening ceremony started with everyone singing and performing the sign language of two lively Tzu Chi songs, “A Clean Planet” and “Everyone Does Recycling”. Grace Chau, a Singaporean married and residing in Taman Klang Utama, enjoyed the happy moment and said smilingly, “I happened to come here to buy something and was curious to see a Tzu Chi’s recycling centre here. Then at the car park, I met a Tzu Chi volunteer whom I know, so I just come to have a look.”
 
She was full of praise for the creative ribbon-cutting ceremony, where volunteers cut a string tied with colourful aluminium cans which they stepped on to flatten them. She was not new to Tzu Chi and would occasionally send recyclables to Tzu Chi’s recycling station. Thus, she was touched that there is now a recycling centre at Taman Klang Utama, thanks to the selfless contribution of everyone to create a better future for the next generation.
 
Seventy-six-year-old Fong Lon, fondly called as “Ah Ma” (grandma), courageously assumes the role as the person-in-charge of the recycling centre. She was full of joy and gratitude that her wish for a recycling centre at Taman Klang Utama has finally come true.
 
She said smilingly, “Even Pulau Ketam already has a recycling centre, but we didn’t. Finally we have it here today. It doesn’t matter although it is a bit small. We can start from small and gradually expand it.” She sincerely hopes that the local residents can bring recyclables over when they shop at Econsave, and work together to reduce rubbish and preserve a clean environment.
 
Volunteer Chow Kee Keong, leader of recycling team in the community, hopes to compile every little story of the recycling centre and present it to the boss of Econsave so that the latter could see the volunteers’ efforts. He also hopes that this recycling centre can achieve impressive results and eventually, more recycling centres will be set up at other Econsave outlets to protect the Earth.
 
Kee Keong remarked, “I hope this educational recycling centre can serve to educate the local residents to appreciate resources and prolong their lifespan, and partake in recycling. I visited recycling centres in Taiwan before. They did a really great job and were very clean; and even a small recycling centre was serving its purpose well. We should learn from them.”
 
A stylish Art Teacher Robin brought his family along to the opening ceremony. He was deeply moved to see the opening of a recycling centre that he designed and decorated. The Art Teacher had contributed his expertise and time, and even worked on rainy days to ensure that the decors could be completed on time.
 
“I am truly happy, and grateful that it does not rain today, because it had been raining the past few days. Luckily the weather is good and we can carry out the opening ceremony smoothly today,” said Robin, who hopes that with its strategic location on the premises of a hypermarket, more people will know about Tzu Chi’s recycling centre and support the initiative.
 
 
At the end of the ceremony, all present in front of the recycling centre shouted, “Tzu Chi Taman Klang Utama Educational Recycling Centre, great, great, great!” Deep in everyone’s heart, they knew that it is everyone’s responsibility to do recycling and save Mother Earth.
 
 
Performance by Tzu Chi volunteers on that day. [Photograph by Lim Poh Choo]   Tzu Chi volunteers and guests stepped on the aluminium cans. [Photograph by Lim Poh Choo]

Performance by Tzu Chi volunteers on that day. [Photograph by Lim Poh Choo]
 
Tzu Chi volunteers and guests stepped on the aluminium cans. [Photograph by Lim Poh Choo]
 
Grace Chau (right) is seen here happily meeting and talking to Tzu Chi volunteers. [Photograph by Lim Poh Choo]   Robin (left) is responsible for the design and decoration of the educational recycling centre. [Photograph by Ng Bee Leng]

Grace Chau (right) is seen here happily meeting and talking to Tzu Chi volunteers. [Photograph by Lim Poh Choo]
 
 
Robin (left) is responsible for the design and decoration of the educational recycling centre. [Photograph by Ng Bee Leng]
 
Mr Leow, Area Manager of Econsave Hypermarket, delivering his speech at the opening ceremony. [Photograph by Lim Poh Choo]   Tzu Chi volunteer, Chow Kee Keong hopes that with Tzu Chi Taman Klang Utama Educational Recycling Centre as a start, more Tzu Chi’s recycling centres on other Econsave branches will be set up in future. [Photograph by Lim Poh Choo]

Mr Leow, Area Manager of Econsave Hypermarket, delivering his speech at the opening ceremony. [Photograph by Lim Poh Choo]
 
 
Tzu Chi volunteer, Chow Kee Keong hopes that with Tzu Chi Taman Klang Utama Educational Recycling Centre as a start, more Tzu Chi’s recycling centres on other Econsave branches will be set up in future. [Photograph by Lim Poh Choo]