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Env. Protection

Stamping Out Aluminium Cans with “Eco-cycle”

At the Clean & Green Singapore Carnival, a one-of-its-kind “eco-cycle” made its public debut. The invention crushed aluminium cans for recycling. Where did the inspiration for this innovative and fun machine originate from?


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A group of ITE students witnessed how Tzu Chi’s recycling volunteers stamped on empty cans to flatten them for recycling and felt that the task was not only tiring and time-consuming, but the crushed metal might even cause injury. Thus a bright spark of inspiration lit up in their young minds, which led to the invention of a unique “eco-cycle”.

This aluminium can crushing machine, which won the Merit Award in the Open Category of the “Environmental Challenge for Schools” (ECS), was proudly displayed in the Clean & Green Singapore Carnival’s environmental exhibition, as a tribute to the students’ innovation.

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Tzu Chi Foundation (Singapore) was invited by the National Environmental Agency of Singapore (NEA) to take part in the “Clean & Green Singapore Carnival” on the 4th and 5th November, 2017.

On the first day of the event, the bright morning sun seemed to be offering a bright smiling welcome to the visitors, both young and old. Tzu Chi volunteers were stationed at the carnival’s environmental exhibition, to advocate environmental protection and share their knowledge on the subject, as well as impart helpful tips on effective recycling.

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A member of the public, Ms Li Yue Lian, was quite taken aback by the mountainous heaps of rubbish in the photo exhibits. After listening to explanations by a volunteer, she couldn’t help but exclaim, “Too much rubbish pollutes the environment. There are many things that can be recycled; it is really a waste to throw them away.”

She made a resolute decision to share the knowledge on environmental protection with her family, while at the same time do her part for the earth by sorting trash for recycling.

Mr Wang Zhen (pictured below in red shirt), who hails from Jilin Province in China, brought his son to the exhibition. As a volunteer shared about environmental protection with him, he told the volunteer: “I hope that this activity can help to educate my own child, and allow him to see for himself heart-breaking pictures of fish trapped by plastic bags in the sea or the nostrils of sea turtles being stuck with drinking straws. It will impart environmental knowledge to my child, so that he will grow into becoming an environmentally-responsible adult.”

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A group of students from ITE College Central, while volunteering at the Tzu Chi recycling point in Ang Mo Kio, witnessed volunteers crushing aluminium cans with their feet, and this inspired them to create the “eco-cycle”. This innovative invention caught the eyes of many curious visitors, who were eager to try out the machine.

Even though the students met some setbacks in the process, with the assistance of their teachers, the machine was successfully created in four months. ITE student Cai Yu Heng said, “After the Carnival, this special ‘eco-cycle’ will be donated to Tzu Chi, to help the volunteers in crushing cans quickly and safely.”

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As a result of their brilliant invention, this group of students, together with Tzu Chi as their collaborative partner, won the Merit Award in the “Environment Challenge for Schools” (ECS) Open Category. 


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