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Saturday, 26 May 2018 | MYT 12:00 AM

Residents get a lesson in garden composting

DO YOUR bit for the environment by turning leftover food into compost for your gardens – that is the message the sustainable and green committee of Taman Putra Prima Fasa 2A Residents Association (TPPF2ARA) wants to pass on to their neighbours.

To help raise awareness, a workshop was conducted by EcoKnights education officer Nabila Shohimi and her team at TPPF2ARA’s headquarters where participants were given an insight into the basics of backyard composting.

In the list of must-haves were food and garden waste, paper towels and uninked paper.

Participants were also told that cooked food should be washed to reduce the oil content.

Nabila (left) conducting the workshop on backyard composting with Taman Putra Prima Fasa 2 residents.

Nabila (left) conducting the workshop on backyard composting with Taman Putra Prima Fasa 2 residents.

Strictly on the restricted list are polystyrene boxes, animal waste, tin cans and paper with coloured ink.

One of the fun activities during the programme was a chance for participants to create their own mini composting bins out of plastic cookie containers with cardboard bits and vegetable scraps.

Laughter broke out among the younger members when Nabila encouraged them to smell the sharp, sourish whiff of the contents to experience first-hand how decomposition affected the environment on a bigger scale.

“Decomposing food waste releases methane, which is harmful to us.

"If we can encourage people to turn their food waste into compost to fertilise their plants, then it reduces the amount of waste going into the landfills hence reducing the emission level of harmful gases,” said Nabila.

Those who came for the workshop were also briefed on maintaining moisture levels and temperature for a compost bin.

At the end of the talk, the non-profit environmental organisation presented the residents association with 15 compost bins.

The bins are given free by the Selangor government and distributed by EcoKnights as part of its Garbage-to-Garden campaign that aims to reduce organic waste in landfills.

One of the compost bin recipients was Samudiswary Ramanitharan, a homemaker who cultivates an edible garden of curry leaves, bittergourd, lemongrass, papayas and potato leaves in her backyard.

Based on information obtained from EcoKnights’ website, 100 compost bins will be given away to participants who attend the organisation’s composting workshops.

To ensure the bins are not wasted, EcoKnights will monitor the recipients’ progress.

Taman Putra Prima Fasa 2A RA president Terence Choong said residents became aware of the importance of reducing, reusing and recycling when garbage collection services in the housing area were disrupted in 2016.

This prompted residents to look into other ways of rubbish management, especially for unwanted furniture and bulk waste.

Two residents who became passionate activists for the cause were Komathy Doraisamy and Irene Goh, respectively the secretary and chairman of the green committee, who went on to organise environmental awareness programmes and recycling activities in the Taman Putra Prima neighbourhood.