“In the past, I didn’t know that some of these things can be recycled. In the light of Earth’s limited resources, recycling will not only save money but help to protect our planet. In future, I will think twice before throwing things away,” said a recycling volunteer from Singapore Power Ltd. He also stated an example from his daily life: “Now I know that the envelopes of letters from banks can actually be recycled!”
On 12th February 2017, Tzu Chi’s Island-wide Recycling Day, about 50 employees and their families from Singapore Power Ltd (abbreviated as SingPower) came to the Tzu Chi recycling points at Block 7 along Ghim Moh Road and Block 682B in Naval Base, to take part in the community recycling activities.
Among those who came was a public relations staff with SingPower, who was first introduced to Tzu Chi via the Northwest Community Development Council (Northwest CDC). She shared that the company plans a variety of charitable activities for its staff each month. These meaningful activities include visits to nursing homes or visits to elderly residents living alone in Singapore, so that employees can leverage on their spare time to cultivate a spirit of love and giving back to the community.
On this day, she has also brought along her two children to help with the recycling work.
“There are clear PET bottles as well as coloured ones, so we place the bottles into different plastic bags according to their different colours,” said her son.
Although the young boy was perspiring profusely in the hot and humid weather, he found the day’s activity rather fascinating.
Each of the recycling points was sub-divided into different zones for the sorting of various materials, such as clothes, paper, plastics, metal cans, electronics, etc. The SingPower staff members were allocated to different zones, and participated in the recycling activity with the guidance of Tzu Chi volunteers. Donning protective gloves, they stooped over to sort out the items (brought over by residents) for recycling.
Chinese national, Wu Kefei, who is an engineer with SingPower, has lived in Singapore for the past ten years. She revealed a personal habit of recycling paper, plastic bottles and metal cans, but after hearing the volunteers’ explanations, she learned about the importance of washing the bottles and cans before throwing them into recycling bins, to help facilitate the process of recycling these materials. Such a concept was something she had never thought of before.
The Head of Asset Management at Singapore Power also concurred: “It’s a great idea to sort and clean items before sending them for recycling, as it will save the man hours further down the line.”
Singapore Power also set up a booth at the Tzu Chi recycling point in Naval Base, to educate residents on the safe use of gas at home; while at the recycling point in Ghim Moh, they set up four mobile digital display boards, with the intention of inculcating residents and passersby with water saving habits through interactive games that promoted water and energy saving at home. The dynamic contents of the digital displays attracted quite a few curious residents to stop by the recycling point, and Tzu Chi volunteers took this golden opportunity to introduce Tzu Chi Foundation and its recycling activities to them.
Just as many hands make light work, the recyclable sorting activity was very quickly completed. It was a day drenched in the perspiration of hard work for the SingPower staff and Tzu Chi volunteers; however, they received a bountiful harvest of joy and satisfaction in playing a part for the environment.
It is Tzu Chi volunteer Lu Xiao Yan’s greatest hope and dream that in future, more business enterprises will lead their employees to come over and understand the importance of environmental protection.
“This way, they will realize that they can also play a part in protecting our environment even while at work,” said Lu.