GEC in collaboration with Recycle for Life launch Zero Waste Programme benefiting 40,000 students from 80 schools in Klang Valley, funded by Coca-Cola Foundation

KUALA LUMPUR: The Global Environment Centre (GEC) in collaboration with Recycle for Life (RFL) by Cenviro (a recycling programme that rewards cash through the use of a smart card) has launched its S.M.A.R.T (Start Managing All Resources Today) Ranger Programme in 80 Klang Valley schools, where the zero-waste programme that is funded by The Coca-Cola Foundation is expected to benefit some 40,000 students.

The two-year project that ends in March 2020 is designed to address the issue of sustainable waste management – an area in which Malaysia is still lagging behind significantly – particularly in the area of recycling due to lack of an effective recycling collection system.

In 2017, the average per capita generation of municipal waste in Malaysia was about 0.85 kg/person/day depending on the economic and geographical status of an area. In Kuala Lumpur, it is estimated that the generation of waste is about 1.5 kg/person/day while it is estimated that about an average of 20,000 tonnes of rubbish is collected annually from the Klang River including plastic bottles, cans and other form of domestic waste that can be recycled.

The school programme that is estimated to reach about 40,000 students will encourage the participants to recycle using a buyback system where selected recyclables such as steel, paper, plastic, aluminium and electronic waste are purchased with cash based on the recyclable market price.

GEC’s SMART Rangers will focus on the Zero Waste Concept through the 4R2C Approach (Rethink, Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, Composting and Closing the loop) while the RFL component will see the schools and students being rewarded with cash through a smart card for their recycling activities.

In each school, SMART Ranger training will be conducted for selected teachers and up to 15 core SMART Ranger students to provide the students with a feeling of ownership and responsibility towards the project, which will help to ensure its sustainability.

The buyback system via the RFL initiative is a self-sustaining activity for schools, where funds can be raised from the sale of recyclables (through) that in turn can be used to fund school’s activities or as well as an avenue for schools to develop key entrepreneurial skills.

Through RFL collection, the recyclables will be weighed and a cash value will be credited into the RFL smart card based on the current market price. The RFL smart card can be used for purchase of goods at participating school’s canteen, bookshop, hypermarkets, and merchant partner outlets. The RFL smart card is an electronic wallet approved by Bank Negara Malaysia.

“We thank the Coca-Cola Foundation for supporting us and we are excited to be partnering up with Recycle for Life not only to implement zero waste concept at schools but to set up an inclusive buy-back recycling systems that is currently lacking in Malaysia. This system will definitely motivate and engage the students to lead local recycling efforts and become a champion in their communities,” said GEC’s RIVER Care coordinator Dr Kalithasan Kailasam.

GEC is a Malaysian non-profit organisation established in 1998 to address key environmental issues, with a mission is to support the protection of environmental and sustainable use of natural resources to meet local, regional and global needs through smart partnership with communities and like-minded organisation.

It is nationally recognized for its work in educating the community and schools on Solid Waste Management (SWM) through its SMART Ranger Programme that emphasizes the solid waste issues in Malaysia and how to deal with waste responsibly.

“Impact is only possible through collective action, hence we are excited with this collaboration in providing the opportunity for more school children in Klang Valley to rethink the way they deal with trash. We hope to pique environmental awareness and to cultivate the entrepreneurship spirit in participating school children as they turn their trash into cash through the Recycle for Life by Cenviro program,” said Managing Director of Cenviro Sdn Bhd Mr. Khalid Bahsoon

Recycle for Life by Cenviro (RFL) is a recycling programme that rewards cash through a smart card. The concept was initiated by Cenviro Sdn Bhd together with MyKasih Foundation to enhance the public’s practice in recycling activities as well as to support the Malaysian Government’s Separation at Source initiatives.

“Coca-Cola has announced in our World Without Waste pledge to recycle used bottle or can for every one the company sells by 2030. This is a massive global ambition and we are very glad to be able to also support other recycling initiatives, especially where the leaders of the future are also taught about it as well as how to spread the necessary awareness and encourage it,” said CEO of Coca-Cola’s Bottling Investments Group Singapore, Malaysia and Brunei Mr. Gareth McGeown.

Also present at the event today was Federal Territory Kuala Lumpur deputy education department director Hj Ismail Musa.