“We have waited for a year and now our Jurong West recycling point is officially in operation!” Chang Nyuk Mui, who is in charge of Tzu Chi’s South 3 Zone sub-zone 2, said with much anticipation.
Since 2011, Tzu Chi Singapore has planned to establish recycling point within each sub-zone to achieve Master Cheng Yen’s wish for recruiting more grassroots members and to promote environmental protection in the heartlands.
“This is what Master has wished for,” added zone leader Low Swee Seh.
As a matter of fact, it is not an easy feat to start a recycling point at the void decks of HDB flats. Permissions must be granted from the Residence Committee (RC), Town Council and the National Environment Agency (NEA) and these take about one year to complete.
Back in mid 2010, Brother Low and Sister Tan Suzan have identified Block 510 on Jurong West 52 Street as an ideal location for a new recycling point as it often has a huge crowd on Sunday mornings (Tzu Chi’s community recycling day is fixed on second Sunday of every month).
Sister Suzan commented that the residents around are unsophisticated folks like the older generation and they are more approachable. Indeed, when the recycling point started running on Sunday, 12 February, many of the locals stopped by to find out more. Volunteers were more than delighted to introduce recycling concept and Tzu Chi’s environmental concept to them.
After days of encouragement and promotion by the volunteers, 41 residents delivered their recyclables and 15 have agreed to participate in the recycling activities the following month. It was very encouraging. Another person in-charge, Sister Kwek Jing Yi commented that “it is important to promote and educate our people about recycling sorting. We hope the residents here will join us in our effort to reduce waste and recycle and reuse. Environmental protection (recycling) is a big task that requires collective effort.”
Among those who sat down to join in the sorting work was 78-year-old Guo Fu Yong. The senior, who hailed from Liaoning, China had visited the Tzu Chi Free Health Screening and Medical Clinic a few days ago because of his arthritis. With the encouragement from volunteer-on-duty Sister Judy Lo, Uncle Guo decided to volunteer at the new-found recycling point which is not far from his home.
“This effort is very meaningful, because caring for Mother Earth is to love everyone. We should not underestimate our tiny effort. The fact that I’m here to do recycling will not only make our Earth cleaner but is also my bit to respond to Master Cheng Yen’s earnest call to us global citizens,” said the Jurong West resident of his first Tzu Chi activity.
Having just celebrated his birthday a few days ago, Uncle Guo joked that being with the young people at the recycling point made him “feel young again”. He also promised that he would participate in the Earth-friendly activity whenever he is in Singapore.