Monday, 15 June 2009

You don't have to be a rocket scientist to recycle paper

I usually walk to the Red House for my "vegetarian" lunch - half portion of rice and three types of vegetables. And I have to pass this spot on the road side near my office which is a designated drop-off point for rubbish to be collected by the garbage truck. In fact, I can see it from my window. Everytime I pass by, I sigh. What's so difficult about recycling paper? So, today, me and my sidekicks decided to look inside the bags.

Abe and I really sad to find perfectly reusable and recyclable envelopes and paper in the thrash. I know, the garbage men will retrieve the recyclables right there at the roadside but it's just not right. Abe is an aqua biologist, who does deep sea diving, is going on a 1-month top secret scientific voyage (oops, not secret anymore) soon, who's agitating for action on climate change.

It does not take a genius to know which department did this. Don't worry, they are just empty envelopes. Zol told me about the case of another local university in the Shah Alam which caused a hue and cry when the public discovered that some applications for places at the University was not even opened - the whole application was just thrashed.

Michael Peter Foo - Christmas came early. We took the bag of "thrash" back to my office to put in the recycle bin at Korporat. And then discovered there was left-over durians and food packaging mixed together. So, we just took out the used envelopes and some recyclable paper. BTW, Michael is a chemist, budding scientist and a self-acclaimed "Kah Poh Chee" (busybody) - guy behind the proposed revival of the USM clock tower.

So, here's the deal. The University at our retreat the previous weekend had agreed to make our Green Office (Pejabat Alamiah) an APEX project. Something which everyone from the VC right down to the clerks and cleaners can take part. One of the things we will target is paper. Every department and school will have to : i) demonstrate reduced consumption of paper (show us how you did it, supported with statistics); ii) make sure not a single piece of paper goes to the landfill (zero waste); and iii) increase the use of recycled unbleached paper.

Honestly, recycling isn't so difficult. You don't need to be a rocket scientist to do it.
  1. Get hold of any box, such as a cardboard box from you last purchase of a computer or equipment. Stick a label that says "Recycled Paper"
  2. Everytime you are about to throw out a used piece of paper or envelope, ask yourself "can this paper be used?" - can you write on the other blank side?. If yes, keep it in a drawer near to you. If not, ask "can this paper be recycled?" - almost any paper can be recycled. Even the tissue which you blow you snuffy nose in.
  3. Put the used paper in the recycle box.
  4. When it is full, bring it to your department's central recycling bins or box. If your department does not have one, ask you BOSS why NOT? On second thoughts, don't ask him. Just DO it yourself.
  5. Call the "old newspaper" man (or woman) to come collect. You won't make alot of money. Used to be you can get 45 sens for one kilo of old newspaper. Now it's only 15 sens. DO IT for your children. Do it for the future. Do it for Mother Earth.


Michael Peter Foo said...

Rocket Scientist huh? I doubted we have any here. Anyone who have a decent discernment ability will be able to do so. Wake up people.. wakey... wakey...

nch said...

Many papers can be recycled.... no doubt. The question is cost and value.
We may think everything is worth recycling, but ask the manufacturers, why not? They will probably ask you if you will pay? (at high price, less pleasant)