International Islamic University Malaysia, Malaysia


Trash to treasure – A journey towards becoming a zero-waste community

International Islamic University Malaysia (IIUM) Kuantan transforms the local community toward environmental sustainability through effective waste management programmes that demonstrate genuine multistakeholder partnerships. The project comprises of three main components: monthly recycling programs, donation drives for used items, and used cooking oil collection which is transformed into soaps. The project contributes to the practice of reducing, reusing, repairing, and recycling tonnes of waste in the city of Kuantan, Pahang, Malaysia.

A community online platform has been created through the project which is the 'Freecycle Kuantan' Facebook page, joined by over 28,400 members to date, to assist the community in spreading recycling opportunities to donate or receive donated items. Every day, around 10 to 15 free items are donated and benefited by the Kuantan community. These components are strengthened with knowledge-transfer workshops (staff-student-community-small community in rural areas) on waste management such as food composting.

Annual carbon savings: 

What the Judges Thought

Sustainability and waster management project (cooking oil made into soap), large group of FB page followers, innovation competition winners, benefitted low income communities, book donations. Funding partnership with government, student society, NGOs.

Excellent dissemination and communication channels engaging the public. Social, economical, environmental impacts evident. The alignment with institutional strategy was clear. Students exposed to working in regulatory environment.

What it Means to Win

"This is a prestigious international recognition to our unwavering commitment and conviction in climate action. A recognition that will be multiplied into more actions and amplified as stronger avenues for a more sustainable society."

Dzulkifli Abdul Razak, Rector

Top 3 Learnings

  1. We transform the community’s waste management at zero costs by expanding multi-stakeholders’ collaboration.
  2. Our public platform ‘Freecycle Kuantan’ has grown organically and gained traction of thousands in circulating the recycling opportunities.
  3. We rely on passion and teamwork of all involved to achieve environmental sustainability.
11 - Sustainable Cities and Communities 12 - Responsible Consumption and Production 13 - Climate Action
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