If you don’t know what to do with your old items and are unsure of how to deal with your recyclable materials, we’re presenting a solution here for you.
We spoke to founder of UrbanR Recycle+, Vincent, to find out how waste management is done in Malaysia.
The Details of the Recycling Process in Malaysia
We found out that recycling in Malaysia is quite direct. There is a hierarchy to the structure. There are four stages and the first is the collection process. And that’s what UrbanR Recycle+ is.
“We ourselves do the first-tier segregation which is separating our own rubbish as recyclable and non-recyclable,” says Vincent.
Then UrbanR Recycle+ does the second-tier recycling, which is further segregating our recyclable items. Take paper for example. There’s only one kind most of us are aware of, but to UrbanR Recycle+, there’s card board, tissue paper, coloured paper, black and white and many others.
Then we move up to the second stage, which is the conventional recycling centres. They will compile the items in bulk sent to them. Next is the recycling factory. They will turn all the items sent into semi-materials. For example, for plastic bottles, they’ll cut it into tiny bits of plastic. The final stage is the material recovery factory and they’ll use the semi-material to turn plastic into able-to-use-again items for further manufacturing processes.
The Malaysian Recycling Culture
In Austria the recycling rate is 68 percent, in Germany 62 per cent, in Taiwan 60 per cent, and in Singapore it is 59 per cent.
In 2015, Malaysia achieved a recycling rate of 17.5 per cent.
The Solid Waste and Public Cleansing Management Act 2007 (Act 672) was adopted September 2015. Under this law, residents have to separate waste into categories such as plastic, paper, cardboard, glass, metal and food remains. Granted, the execution for this is not great, but we also lag behind in playing our part.
A lot of Malaysians blame our lack of recycling on the people’s mindset, but it’s not that. It’s that most people don’t have the access or knowledge of how to recycle their items. Even if we know how to recycle our glass bottles, we don’t know where it goes after it gets picked up. Sadly, a lot of them end up in landfills.
Right now, the law for Malaysian recycling is that there should be 2 bins, the recyclable items where rubbish collectors should come every day to collect and the non-recyclable items where they’ll come every two days.
For expats living in Malaysia, it’s useful for them to know that recycling systems are like banking systems. They are different in all countries, it’s a very localized process. The waste management happening in some parts of Europe may not be applicable here. So, we’ve got to learn how the community around us recycles and follow their process.
How do I start Recycling Properly?
Look for your residential associations where you’re at and carry out your recycling according to their set rules and schedules.
What is UrbanR Recycle+?
UrbanR Recycle+ is many things. For one, they are a collector of recyclable items. But their mission doesn’t just stop there.
Unlike conventional recycling centres which are very linear, UrbanR Recycle+ says there’s so much more to the recycling process.
For one thing, a recycling centre’s function is mainly destruction of recyclable items. But this includes so many things that we throw away that other people would absolutely love. This is due to the culture and history associated to the item. For example, old books, collectible comic books and toys. UrbanR Recycle+ see these items as worth saving so that they can end up in the hands of those that will treasure them.
The Artemis Space, UrbanR Recycle+’s concept space features all items they have collected from Malaysians. And it’s where UrbanR Recycle+ carries out its function of recycling and collecting and selling pre-loved and vintage items.
UrbanR Recycle+: For Recycling
For those living in Cheras, Ampang and KL, whatever that cannot be recycled by their local community, they can send to UrbanR Recycle+ or you can call UrbanR Recycle+ to pick up from your area.
For those not living around these areas, can also request for a pick up but it has to be by appointment basis. Or you can drop by Artemis Space at 1 Shamelin Mall or Hive in Bangsar.
But since it’s very not environmentally friendly to travel so far to do so, make the trip only if you have items that still can be reused. Things like kitchenware, clothes, shoes, books and gadgets. You may not see value in them already, but they might hold value for someone else. The condition of the item is not judged by the giver but the buyer.
Some things that UrbanR Recycle+ can handle that a lot of local recycling can’t, are electronics.
If your electronics are slightly faulty, instead of throwing them away, give them to UrbanR Recycle+ and they will repair and resell them in their shop. 100% of all electronics are recyclable. So, don’t throw them away because not disposed of properly, they can be a danger to our environment and us.
UrbanR Recycle+: For Pre-loved and Vintage Items
The Artemis Space holds all the reusable and pre-loved items collected that have been segregated by UrbanR Recycle+. Most items sold here are below RM5 and you can purchase items from their shop with points or cash.
For the point system, they assign a point by the weight of products that you recycle with UrbanR Recycle+. One point is 10 cents, and once you reach 20 ringgit in terms of points, you can redeem an Aeon or Tesco voucher from their shop.
Here are just some of the awesome things sold in UrbanR Recycle+’s Artemis Space.
One thing to note when engaging with UrbanR Recycle+ is to be mindful of how you’re recycling.
Recycling is a solution, it’s not a service.
Understand that the process becomes easier with everyone’s cooperation. So, wash your plastic milk cartons, glass bottles, and flatten your cardboard boxes before you pass them along.
If you’d like to get in touch with UrbanR Recycle+, you can do so here.
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