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Sunday, 15 January 2012 00:00

A Recycling Centre in Subang New Village

The costume of the ‘Deity of Fortune' was a creative work out made out of recyclables. He is seen here giving away oranges to participants.【Photograph by Chai Yee Yang】

Tzu Chi volunteers and residents of Subang New Village worked extremely hard to establish a recycling centre that was officially opened on January 15, 2012. Volunteers and the local residents of Ara Damansara treat this Centre as a spiritual home and for recycling activities.


Clad in a red costume made from recycled red papers and red cardboard sheets; and with a waistband filled with words pertaining to recycling, the "Deity of Fortune" led a mini lion dance troupe through the crowd, amidst the sound of drums. The "Deity" gave away mandarin oranges to symbolize good luck to everyone he met.

The mini lion dance troupe comprised of small children of various ages. With DVD discs and tin cans as percussion instruments, these children played their creative tune for their performance. This delightful atmosphere marked the opening of the Centre.

Following the lion dance were various activities, including a lyrical sign language performance, vegetarian cooking demonstration, handicrafts making and so on. All present were extremely happy.

The need for a recycling centre to serve as a spiritual home

"We need a Centre to serve as a spiritual home so that all can come and join their efforts as family members," said Chin Chee Siang, a volunteer of the Ara Damansara Zone.

In the beginning, and with only a few active members for the newly established Ara Damansara Zone, no one dared to dream of setting up a recycling centre.

However, after a year's sincere effort, starting with monthly recycling activity, Chee Siang and other volunteers formed a team and managed to recruit a sizable number of local residents to shoulder responsibilities in recycling work. They worked hard to protect the Earth, and through such work they became one family.

As words spread around and more people turned up at the recycling point, it soon became over- crowded and there was an urgent need for a bigger space to serve as a recycling centre and a spiritual home. Discussions were held and they concurred that all building materials would have to come from recyclables salvaged. They then started to look for a suitable location.

True to the Jing-Si Aphorism: Right efforts attract kindness, Chee Siang finally found a suitable location while looking for his staff's quarters.

Chee Siang said, "At first glance, I just felt that it was the right place for our Centre as it gave me the feeling of a home." He also felt the power of kindness at work, and vowed to give and to serve further.

A place like home

It was actually a building that was abandoned 6 months earlier. It had overgrown weeds in the compound while the interior and exterior were in very bad shape. Everyone in the team cleared and cleaned up the house that would be turned into a spiritual home.

Sixty-year old Lin Shui Guang is the Person-in-charge of the recycling centre. He said, "We must lead by example in order to attract others to follow our footsteps." He was always the first to arrive, and the last to leave, during the set-up period.

Everything went as planned. A new volunteer, Ye Bao Lan, donated all the roofing and zinc sheets from her son's old furniture factory building; and other volunteers managed to get a contractor, who was willing to carry out the construction work using the recycled materials, and at a fairly low price.

Ye Bao Lan felt very happy to see the shade constructed with salvaged material from her son's old factory.

To prolong material lifespan, volunteers used leftover cement mix they gathered from construction sites every day after 6 pm, to surface the untidy looking compound. Soon, the Centre took shape with the construction of a children's reading room, a Jing-Si corner, a living room for group fellowship, a display room for salvaged recyclables, and so on. A real spiritual home was indeed in the making.

My second home

Twelve-year old Wan Wei Long announced in a serious manner: "I am not here for fun; I am here to help sort recyclables." He led a group of younger children to pick up recyclables within the vicinity of the new recycling centre. Later, they all worked with the adults in the Centre sorting out recyclables. None of the children were bored as they treated such activities as if they were having in an interesting game.

Hong Yu Xi was also at the scene. She serves at the recycling point regularly; and on Saturdays, she brings along her 3 daughters to pick up recyclables around a nearby field. She nodded as she listened to a Tzu Chi volunteer sharing ideas on environmental protection. It is also good education for her 3 girls, who has learnt not to be wasteful. As Yu Xi and her daughters visit the Centre so often, they are treating it as their second home.

A painting of a tree trunk with empty branches can be seen on one wall at the Centre. Symbolically, the Master of Ceremony led all to set their handprints onto the branches, hence signaling their determination to serve and to protect Mother Nature. With the countless handprints added to the branches, a fully grown tree was formed. This is a symbol of warmth and harmony within the Centre, and a witness to the sincere effort to care for our Earth.

 

Hand-in-hand, day-by-day, volunteers worked hard to clear up the mosquito infested abandoned building, to make a home where all could serve their best.【Photograph by Chin Chee Siang】 At the cooking demonstration, exchanges on good cooking took place.【Photograph by Eng Chin Suey】

Hand-in-hand, day-by-day, volunteers worked hard to clear up the mosquito infested abandoned building, to make a home where all could serve their best.【Photograph by Chin Chee Siang】

At the cooking demonstration, exchanges on good cooking took place.【Photograph by Eng Chin Suey】
Hong Yu Xi (right) and her 3 daughters have made the recycling centre their second home, where they serve regularly and happily.【Photograph by Chai Yee Yang】 The many handprints on the branches helped to create a full bloomed tree, opening the page in the mission of environmental protection.【Photograph by Chai Yee Yang】

Hong Yu Xi (right) and her 3 daughters have made the recycling centre their second home, where they serve regularly and happily.【Photograph by Chai Yee Yang】

The many handprints on the branches helped to create a full bloomed tree, opening the page in the mission of environmental protection.【Photograph by Chai Yee Yang】
A year of togetherness in recycling activities had created love and care of a family among local residents and volunteers. They were very happy to realize their dream of setting up a recycling Centre.【Photograph by Chai Yee Yang】

A year of togetherness in recycling activities had created love and care of a family among local residents and volunteers. They were very happy to realize their dream of setting up a recycling Centre.【Photograph by Chai Yee Yang】

 

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