Recycling System in Malaysia: Easy, Effective & Cheap. Please replicate yourself

Are you also living in a condominium or apartment? And does it frustrate you that there’s no recycling system in place? Well, that’s exactly how I used to feel – until I did something about it.

In only 2 weeks – and in collaboration with the Management Office and the Cleaners – we managed to install a recycling system on each of the 23 floors of the condo  – and at a cost of less than RM8 (US$2.50) per apartment. Since 2009, the system has been operating successfully and has more than doubled the recycling rate.

The survey that I conducted after 1 year of operation, showed that more than 90% of the residents find the recycling system easy to use and think that the system enhances the attractiveness of the condo. This was true for both Malaysian and non-Malaysian residents.

As such, the recycling system has been a win-win-win-win solution, because:

  • The residents win, because they want to recycle and it has been made easy for them
  • The building management and owners win, because the recycling system enhances the attractiveness of the condominium at a cost of less than RM8 (US$2.50) per apartment
  • The cleaners win, because they earn extra pocket-money from selling the recyclables, which are now sorted at source. NB. Previously, they would sieve through the general trash and take out the recyclables, which is a common and unhygienic practice in Malaysia.
  • The environment wins, as the recycling rate has more than doubled

It has been as really positive experience to facilitate the implementation of this recycling system. I hope that you – the reader – will replicate the system where you live. In my experience, the key parameters for a successful implementation of a condo/apartment recycling system are:

  1. Its driven by an enthusiastic resident, who facilitates the project in collaboration with the Building Management and the Cleaners
  2. Design the system according to the wishes of the Cleaners and let them keep all the pocket money from selling the recyclables. The monetary incentive of the Cleaners is the key to a successful operation of the system.
  3. Design the system, so it is easy for the residents to recycle
  4. Avoid involving the Resident Committee, as this committee often has a few members that have too much time at their hand and who have nothing better to do than complain and make things complicated.

Please also refer to uploaded material below. When you approach the Management Office and the Cleaners, I would suggest that you bring along the presentation + the survey results (both inserted below), as this documentation will help to instill confidence that it is ‘mission possible’ and that the residents wants it.

Kind regards – and please keep us updated on your progress by posting on this page!

Gregers Reimann & Matthias Gelber


Condo Recycling, by Gregers Reimann, Malaysia

Installed in the existing trash room on each floor of the condo to make it easy for the users.


Download (PDF, 1.26MB)

Download (PDF, 76KB)


1-minute video of the recycling system with explanations by Matthias Gelber:

[jwplayer mediaid=”14337″]


16-minute interview on ‘Hello On Two’ (Malaysian TV) about the recycling system:

[jwplayer mediaid=”14339″]

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