Behaviour change vital to boosting recycling rates as solid waste production increases

Ahmad (seated centre) together with other distinguished guests at the prize giving ceremony at SK Garland today (Jan 13, 2023).

By Karen Bong

KUCHING, Jan 13: More must be done to encourage behavioural change to boost the recycling rates in Sarawak, as solid waste produced is on the rise due to population growth, rapid economic development, and an increase in consumption.

Padawan Municipal Council (MPP) deputy chairman Senator Dato Cr Ahmad Ibrahim emphasised that the solution to the waste problem lies in changing one’s behaviour and daily habits in waste management, which should start with adults and instilling recycling and reducing waste habits in children.

“Be it at home, school or beyond our home, we must practice recycling and keeping clean to maintain our environment and surroundings.

“Solid waste management and environmental protection is not a new thing. However, it is one of the main agendas often being discussed during Council’s meetings, especially the need to increase public awareness about waste management through practising good habits like recycling,” he said.

Ahmad highlighted this when addressing the prize-giving ceremony of the Solid Waste Segregation and Recycling Programme at SK Garland in Jalan Batu Kawah here today.

Organised in collaboration with MPP and Trienekens (Sarawak) Sdn Bhd, the programme aims to provide a real-life platform for students to put recycling into practice, learn the correct way of handling waste separation and increase environmental awareness.

SK Garland students showing off their creativity at the eco-fashion competition today (Jan 13, 2023).

Ahmad stressed that every citizen needs to shoulder this responsibility and play a role in protecting and ensuring a clean environment which is essential for human health and well-being.

“Recycling should not only be practised to make a profit but also driven by the desire to protect the environment and preserve our natural resources.

“I want to congratulate the headmaster and all the teachers and students of SK Garland for your serious efforts in this programme. Your actions and contributions, no matter how small, should be emulated by others as your positive actions will bring great changes to our Earth and our environment,” he said.

Ahmad hopes that recycling habits can continue to be practised not only at schools but also at home and within the community.

With success and encouraging response towards the programme, he added that MPP would extend the programme to other schools interested in the future.

The programme featured several activities such as a 3R (recycle, reduce, reuse) collection, awareness talk, colouring contest, innovation competition, eco-fashion competition and Amazing Green Race competition.

SK Garland headmaster Stanley Sagir and Trienekens deputy chief executive officer Elvin Wee were among those present. — DayakDaily