Three Pilots

By Michelle Ng

The Christmas, year-end season beckons. It is apt at this juncture therefore to summarise the work that has been done for Subang Jaya as we close the year, and as the title of this piece suggests, I will do so by highlighting three pilot projects which we have rolled out with a view of systemic change.

  1. 1000 stronger, taller, sturdier trees.

Last month, I announced our commitment towards planting 1000 trees across Subang Jaya in the coming term. There is an upcoming project in PJS 7, where we plan to plant 100 trees – but we want to do things differently.

With climate change comes unpredictable weather, and torrential winds have over the course of time uprooted a good number of trees. Several trees also had to be felled, as they began damaging drainage systems, causing clogs and flash floods; with some even growing into residents’ homes.

We were able to convince MBSJ to use the PJS 7 tree planting project to pilot the usage of root barriers, which functions to force roots to grow downwards. The idea is that this should prevent damage to surrounding infrastructure, giving us stronger, taller, sturdier trees in the long term.

  1. Encouraging behavioural change in SS15 Commercial Area

Some of you may have noticed yellow boxes drawn on the pavements on SS15/4 with unit numbers written on them. This is a pilot for the said road, where together with MBSJ, we are using simple methods to encourage more responsible disposal of waste.

The way it works is that ground floor shop units would still have to throw their waste in bins in the back lane. Whilst upstairs units will throw their waste in bins which have to be placed in the yellow boxes. Why so? You see, I learnt that the design of the SS15 shoplots do not allow upstairs unit staircase access to the back lanes. So, many tenants of those units find it cumbersome to walk around the block to dispose their rubbish, and would therefore often throw them by road shoulders.

So, with these yellow boxes drawn, it does two things. One, MBSJ would know which unit have prepared their bins and two, the contractors would know where to place them back.

In short, it encourages accountability.

  1. Increasing access to recycling

As at 1 December 2023, we have rolled out a more convenient recycling system in SS12-19, Wangsa Baiduri and PJS 7, 9, 11.

All residents would have to do is separate their recyclables in a separate plastic bag, and put it out during regular domestic rubbish collection. KDEB, the contractor, will then pick them up together but process them separately.

There are three categories of recyclables – PET plastic, paper and cardboard, aluminium and tin.

Remember – other types of rubbish such as furniture, toys, clothes, construction waste, will not be treated as recyclables. In fact, if you have large amount of these rubbish to throw away, it will be considered bulk waste and the right thing to do is ring MBSJ at 03-80267433 to dispose of them. The reason is because the contracts for rubbish collection is calculated based on average household waste generated. When you throw away more than that, you are taking away room in the system which need to be reserved for your neighbours. The right thing to do, therefore, is to pay for this additional waste to be disposed.

If this system is successful, phase two of the project is to roll it out in the rest of USJ.

The logic behind the system is simple – the easier and more accessible we make recycling; the more people should participate.

The reason that I am so passionate about this is because, since becoming a mother I often think of the world I am leaving behind for my son. I worry when I learn of predictions that port towns will sink by 2050, and that food security will become a problem given unpredictable weather and climate change. Climate change can be slowed by reducing carbon emission, and the fact is that we all generate carbon emission every day, one of which is through waste. Every kg of rubbish we throw away into the landfill generates about 2kg of carbon, which contributes to global warming.


I do not believe in plastering wounds. I believe in finding the root cause of problems and solving those. When we do so, everything else flows. If these pilots are successful, we will extend these to other areas.