The old adage, ‘one man's trash is another man's treasure’, certainly rings true as one steps into SMK Seksyen 16. The school’s garden has been transformed into a breathtaking sight thanks to hundreds of recyclables which fill every nook and corner.
“We’ve tried to recycle almost anything and transform it into something beautiful. Broken frying pans are painted into colourful turtles, bottle caps are used to line paths and we even have a giant snake made out of old tyres. We also worked together to complete a greenhouse which was constructed out of recyclables,” explained 16-year-old Muhammad Aidil Solehin excitedly.
The secondary school’s creative use of recycled materials was recently recognised at this year’s Kempen Kitar Semula F&N & MBSA which has recorded an outstanding 1.07 million kg of recyclables since the campaign began in 2007.
The school-level recycling campaign, organised by Fraser & Neave Holdings Bhd (F&NHB) and Majlis Bandaraya Shah Alam (MBSA), is advocating the need to start education on the importance of recycling and the environment in schools.
The 10-year recycling initiative empowers schools to take a proactive approach to promote environment preservation and imbue the 5R philosophy; Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, Rethink and Recreate, beyond classroom lessons.
Speaking at the prize-giving ceremony, Ms Cariessa Goh, Corporate Affairs Manager, F&NHB commended schools for their tremendous effort in this year’s recycling competition.
“We are extremely proud to mark a new milestone in our campaign by surpassing a million kg in recyclables in our 10th year. This year the total collection has also risen to 121,321.20 kg. The children continue to do us proud and are proof that the younger generation is capable of so much more. Through the campaign, we hope to do our bit to nurture children into future environmental stewards,” she said.
The five-month campaign which ended on September 21, 2016, saw a participation of 36 schools comprising five kindergartens, 16 primary schools and 15 secondary schools and total collection of 121,321.20 kg of recyclables.
Organised hand-in-hand with the Selangor Education Department and Tetra Pak (Malaysia) Sdn. Bhd., the Kempen Kitar Semula F&N & MBSA required schools to collect the largest haul of recyclables, such as aluminum cans, plastic bottles, paper and Tetra Pak materials, to win rewards. Three special awards were also up for grabs for schools with the highest accumulated aluminum, plastic and Tetra Pak materials collected.
Pra Sekolah SK Seksyen 20 retained its crown for the second consecutive year, collecting 4,096kg in recyclables. Meanwhile, Tadika Harmonika and Tadika Seri Kurnia earned the second and third placing with a collection of 2,158.2kg and 1,514.7kg of recyclables respectively.
SJK (C) Chung Hua was the clear winner in the primary school category, collecting an exceptional 15,304.3kg of recyclables and beating its peers by a large margin. Trailing behind were first runner up SK Alam Megah (3) with 7,400.4kg and second runner up SK TTDI Jaya with 4,911.0 kg.
In the secondary school category, two-time winner SMK Bukit Jelutong claimed the top spot yet again with 10,826.6kg of recyclables collected. Not too far behind was SMK Seksyen 7 with 8,812.4kg and SMK Seksyen 18 with 6,890.2kg, winning the second and third spot respectively.
Primary school champion, SJK (C) Chung Hua promotes a zero waste culture among its students. In fact, classes do not use dustbins but instead only have boxes to collect recyclables.
“At our school, children learn from an early age the importance of recycling and avoiding waste. We have also set up a programme which rewards students for their recycling effort, individually as well as through their classes. The students earn larger rewards as their recycling efforts increase,” said Ms Ong Shu Zhen, a teacher at SJK (C) Chung Hua.
According to SMK Bukit Jelutong teacher, En Azka Zihni bin Mohammad Azhar, recycling is an anchor programme at the school. Students are involved in various activities to encourage the good habit throughout the year.
“We also get our community involved and even go door to door to collect recyclables. The response has been great and some residents even contact us every now and then when they have more recyclables to give away,” said 16-year-old Cheng Shermayne of SMK Bukit Jelutong’s Nature Lover’s Club.
In conjunction with the 10th anniversary of the campaign, an additional award was also given out to primary and secondary schools with the best and most creative Recycling Corners. Winners, SK Seksyen Enam and SMK Seksyen 16 were rewarded handsomely with RM1,000 cash prize each for their creative use of recyclables.
SK Seksyen Enam teacher and recycling coordinator, En Rohaizad Abdul Rahim was excited to participate in this unique category. Bridging their role as a FrogAsia hub school, a YTL foundation initiative to provide ’21 century classrooms’, and a top recycling school, SK Seksyen Enam’s Laman Bestari garden was filled with robots made from old computers and other colourful figurines made from electrical wires and even mineral water containers.
“Apart from the Laman Bestari, we decided to take our recycling programme online this year and organised a recycling quiz through our FrogAsia site. The response was amazing. The children were enthusiastic to participate with some even taking the quiz while at home,” he added.
“We want to help schools realise that environmental awareness and recycling should be instilled at an early age. Education is pivotal in raising awareness of environmental challenges and shaping positive attitudes that can truly make a difference. Together with our partners, we hope to expand this green initiative and inculcate a recycling culture among children,” said Cariessa.
This year’s campaign saw a total of RM24,900 worth of cash prizes rewarded to winners.
The Shah Alam Mayor, Dato’ Ahmad Zaharin Mohd Saad handed out prizes alongside Ms Cariessa Goh to representatives from winning schools.
For the total list of winners, please refer to Appendix A.