‘Trash’ for food: Tasty project for residents

FAMILIES in Kampung Bolkiah yesterday found out that they could actually exchange their “trash” for food.

The Universiti Brunei Darussalam’s Student Community Outreach Team (Scot) gave rice and noodles to low income families in the village in exchange for their collected recylables.

The students’ group aims to eradicate poverty and to promote “green” practices.

“We saw this as an opportunity to ‘kill two birds with one stone’ while also hoping to change the mindset of the people in Brunei to recycle more and we’re trying to show them that some trash actually has value,” said project manager Noor Amal Azirah Azlan. “This can actually be seen as one of the ways which they can improve their way of life.”

Kg Bolkiah was selected as the first location for the project as some of the residents were victims of a recent fire and majority of the villagers were low income earners.

Rice and noodles were given to residents in exchange for their collected recyclable materials mostlyaluminium cans and cardboard boxes.

Noor Amal said “every dollar worth of recyclables, they would get 1.5 kilos of rice.”

“It’s almost like a subsidy,” she added. Scot stationed their base of operations at the Kg BolkiahMosque yesterday where residents delivered and weighed recyclables. The total amount of recyclables yesterday weighed up to 1,095 kgs which surpassed Scot’s expected mark of 100 kgs for their day-long operation.

The project manager said that she was happy with the response despite her worries of not having much participation due to the lack of recycling practices currently being done.

When asked more about the future of such projects, Noor Amal hoped for it to be conducted again in another six months but could not confirm the chosen village for their next initiative. “I hope that it’ll be bigger with a much higher response,” she added.

A total of 80 volunteers participated yesterday.

After the overwhelming amount of recyclables, the stocks of the commodities drew short but residents were given coupons for them to collect their rewards today.

Source: The Brunei Times
Author: Amir Noor
Published Date: 26 September 2011

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