KOPERASI ALAM HIJAU PERAK BERHAD (KOHIJAU) was registered with the Cooperatives Commission of Malaysia on 1 April 2016 by 53 members of IPOH CITY WATCH (ICW), which is a watchdog NGO for Ipoh rate payers. ICW acts as eyes, ears and mouths for these rate payers to ensure the Ipoh City Council provides efficient services and amenities as stipulated in the Local Government Act 1976.
The establishment of KOHIJAU enables ICW to enter into social business to help generate income from recycling and organic composting activities while helping to keep the environment clean, green, and sustainable in order to fund its projects.
KOHIJAU’s vision is to “Create a Society that Cares for the Sustainable Environment”. Using the slogan “Our City Our Responsbility”, KOHIJAU aims to cultivate a society that embrace the recycling culture through a 3Es approach; “Engage, Educate and Excite” the public using the Recycling Reward Point System, rewarding the public which participate in our programme with recycling points which can be redeemed with cash, coupons to purchase daily products or donate to charity organisations. To date, KOHIJAU has more than 5,000 members in Perak contributing over 60,000kg recyclables through 71 recycling bins.
Prior to the start of this programme, Ipoh City Watch (and now known as Koperasi Alam Hijau Perak Berhad or KOHIJAU) has been actively promoting Ipoh as the “most liveable city in Malaysia” focusing on safety, cleanliness, wellness, gender equality, economy, eradicating poverty, education and transportation.
ICW worked with Rukun Tetangga Jelapang to start the recycling and composting programme.
On 1st April 2016, Ipoh City Watch has migrated its social business activities via the cooperative
societies under KOPERASI ALAM HIJAU PERAK BERHAD (KOHIJAU) after it received the approval from the government. On September 18, 2016, KOHIJAU signed an MOU with ICycle Malaysia Sdn. Bhd. to implement the high technology innovative recycling reward point system.
- Ipoh City Watch (ICW) which started as an NGO which act as the voice of the rate payers of Ipoh has transformed into a cooperative society whose members are now members of Koperasi Alam Hijau Perak Berhad (KOHIJAU), promoting sustainable environment via recycling reward point system and develop Social Business units to convert thrash to cash.
- The transformation in ICW from being a vociferous voice of the people complaining about the Ipoh City Council into a responsible NGO which provide solutions to the environment problem has led to the setting up of a social business in Jelapang Tambahan in collaboration with Rukun Tetangga Jelapang converting thrash to cash
- The project has helped reduced about 15% of the garbage from going to landfill and affect global warming. It also helped contribute to a cost savings of RM2,700 per year to the government.
- KOHIJAU Recycling Reward Point System has been recognised by the Perak State government as a good intervention system to educate the public to take of the cleanliness of the environment.
- Perak has become the 2nd cleanest state in Malaysia and Ipoh declared as the cleanest city in Malaysia in 2016 by the Ministry of Housing and Local Government.
- KOHIJAU’S collaboration with several organisations on green projects has resulted in these organizations winning awards at National Level.
- Overall, KOHIJAU system has attracted a total of 3,647 registered as recycling members since September 2016. They have contributed a total 46,000 kg recyclables which will otherwise end up in the landfill or illegal dumpsites.
- This is translated as cost saving for the Perak of RM13,800 (assuming 30 sen per kg for waste disposal paid to contractors).
What impact has this project created in the community/nation?
Using high technology recycling reward point system, these recyclables are then collected every week and separated at the factory before they are weighed and allocated recycling points. The points can then be redeemed via online with cash or AEON/TESCO coupons or donated to charity.The system has also helped increased recycling rate to 17%. Malaysia aims to achieve a recycling rate of 20% by 2020.Higher recycling rate means better environment quality and help reduce carbon footprint and greenhouse gas while helping the poor to generate supplement income.How has this project help to advance the chosen SDG?This is a sustainable recycling project which helps educate the
public to keep the environment clean and get rewarded. Low income earner sees this as an opportunity to earn supplement income by converting thrash to cash. NGOs can start a recycling business with minimum capital.
The tagline for United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (UNSDGs) is “Leaving No One Behind.” explain how your project helps to realize the commitment of UNSDGs for the future.
As the system rewards everyone, with 2 main players, the community mover (e,g Rukun Tetangga Jelapang) and the people within the community (e,g the residents of Jelapang Tambahan) taking the biggest without incurring high start-up capital, the system will be successful as long as the price of recyclables is high.
Increased level of recycling awareness can also help the communities to see money in our thrash thus enable the society to slowly move towards a zero-waste society thus help improve hygiene, provide good health and wellness (goal #3). A sustainable KOHIJAU-ICYCLE system helps to get people, the government and corporate to be responsible to the environment which can help reduce pollution and reduce waste from ending up in landfills, illegal dumpsite, river and ocean. Thus, the success of this project will also have impact on improving life below water (goal #14) and life on land (goal #15).