June 14, 2024

Ipoh social enterprise diversifying from just collecting recyclables, with plans to sell essential products and operating a cafe


IPOH, June 4 — Koperasi Rejuvinasi Malaysia Berhad (Korem) may be in its infancy, but the cooperative has big plans.

While it currently focuses on collecting recyclables, it plans to branch out to selling essential products and also expanding into operating a cafe.

Director Victor Chew said Korem was established on July 13 last year, starting out as a non-governmental organisation in Persatuan Rejuvinasi Pemikiran Masyarakat.

“Due to conflict of interest, we decided to convert ourselves into a cooperative.”

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Like any centres that collect recyclables, Koperasi Rejuvinasi Malaysia Berhad (Korem) also takes in fibre, plastics, paper, electrical products and glassware. — Picture by Farhan Najib

Chew told Malay Mail that unlike conventional centres that collect recyclables, paying cash to people who bring them in, waste collectors who brought recyclables to Korem’s Pasir Pinji hub will instead collect credit points.

For recyclables are brought in, Chew said it would be weighed according to its type with the weight converted into points.

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“The points are then converted into shares where after our annual general meeting, dividends would be paid out based on the number of shares held,” he said, adding that the dividends are determined by the commissioner of cooperatives.

Like all centres that collect recyclables, Korem also takes in fibre, plastics, paper, electrical products and glassware.

Koperasi Rejuvinasi Malaysia Berhad (Korem) director Victor Chew said initially Korem started out as a non-governmental organisation but due to conflict of interest, they decided to convert themselves into a cooperative. — Picture by Farhan Najib

Koperasi Rejuvinasi Malaysia Berhad (Korem) director Victor Chew said initially Korem started out as a non-governmental organisation but due to conflict of interest, they decided to convert themselves into a cooperative. — Picture by Farhan Najib

“An Ipoh-based company takes the recyclables collected by us and pays us what is due,” he explained, adding that the company’s lorry would come to the centre to collect the recyclables monthly.

To further encourage recycling, more hubs are being planned by Korem with the ultimate aim of every state assembly having their own hub.

Currently there is a hub in Ipoh Garden South (Ipoh Refill Zero Waste Store), and it is also working with a primary school in Pasir Pinji to collect recyclables.

“We will give them four bins which we made from advertisement boards so the pupils can place their recyclables in it,” he said, adding that bins are to place paper, plastic, fibre and metal.

Koperasi Rejuvinasi Malaysia Berhad (Korem) also works with a primary school in Pasir Pinji to collect recyclables where the cooperative gave them four bins so the pupils can place their recyclables in it. — Picture by Farhan Najib

Koperasi Rejuvinasi Malaysia Berhad (Korem) also works with a primary school in Pasir Pinji to collect recyclables where the cooperative gave them four bins so the pupils can place their recyclables in it. — Picture by Farhan Najib

Less than a year after its establishment, Korem today boasts nine directors and 30 members.

“But we will be having a campaign soon to attract more members.”

Paying of dividends after a year may not be as attractive as upfront cash, but Chew offers a different perspective.

“Think of it as savings. Instead of a few ringgit that you get when you sell to the conventional recycling centres each time where you will spend it on coffee, you will get more after a year.”

Korem, located at 1269 Jalan Pasir Pinji, is open daily except Mondays. Its operating hours are 9am to 5pm (Tuesdays to Saturdays) and 9am to 1pm (Sundays).

For further details, check them out on Facebook.



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