Brunei’s Apec delegate talks ‘trash for cash’

National 2 minutes, 5 seconds


THE president of the group of university students, responsible for encouraging low-income residents in Brunei's water village to trade their recyclable throw-aways for cash, is looking to build on the "trash for cash" pilot project by going international.

Universiti Brunei Darussalam (UBD) graduate Md Anwar Hj Mohammad (pictured) is one of two Bruneian youths participating in the youth programme of the on-going pec, Voices of the Future (VOF), in Hawaii.

Speaking to The Brunei Times here yesterday, the youth with a passion for helping the impoverished, said he hopes that networking with other young delegates at this year's forum will potentially increase the scale of the pilot project.

In September, the Brunei-Singapore Green Xchange Project by UBD's Student Outreach Community Team (Scot) managed to gather just over one tonne of "recyclables" such as paper, plastics and aluminium cans from the residents of Kg Bolkiah A and B. Residents were offered 1.5kg of rice for every $1 of recyclable materials.

The project, which Md Anwar described as a "tremendous success", was synchronised to take place simultaneously with a similar project, carried out by a counterpart in Singapore. He met the Singapore contact during the VOF in last year's Apec in Japan.

"After that, we partnered up, building up an NGO in Brunei and Singapore. And we collaborated together to form a project, which benefits the low income people and also to promote sustainability and also going green in both countries," he said.

In his third year of participating in the VOF programme, the Scot president said, "I would want to engage with more Abac (Apec Business Advisory Council) members than the previous years."

He also said that he wants to share the project with "if possible, all the 21 economies If I can start out with Brunei and Singapore, who knows, I can bring in another three or four countries to run the same project, InsyaAllah."

"It's just simple, basic things (that) we exchange: recyclable materials with basic commodities. They (the other VOF delegates) can easily organise these (sort of) things. And why not build a Brunei-Singapore, maybe Peru-Australia (Green Xchange)? Who knows?"

The other Bruneian joining the VOF in Hawaii is Ak Md Fakhrul Azmi PHM Yassin, project manager of Scot.

The VOF delegates yesterday interacted with Abac members during sessions at the Sheraton Waikiki.

They will also participate as observers at the Apec CEO Summit 2011 today.

The Brunei Times