Warehouse Recycling Worker

Mr Leung (梁先生)

Kwai Hing

10:00 - 14:00

“People don’t tend to give soap much thought. Here we collect unused soap from hotels, then sort and recycle them to distribute to those in need. I have been working as a MEY (Minority, Elderly and Youth) Worker at Soap Cycling for 3 years. My work involves sorting and recycling soap bars at the warehouse; I also run the volunteer workshops and we work together to scrape and clean the soap so that they are new and ready for redistribution. If you think about all the unused toiletries in all the hotels, you will realise that there is so much soap wastage. What I really like about working here is that people from different generations are brought together through the programme. I was born in 1941, at the start of the 3 years and 8 months Japanese occupation of Hong Kong during the war. Safe to say that it was an interesting time! I may be old in age but I’m young at heart - the youngsters love to hang out with me.” 

「大家平時應該都唔會點留意啲番梘。喺呢度我哋會收集酒店唔要嘅番梘,將佢哋分類同埋加工,再分發俾有需要嘅人。我喺再皂福嘅『美 MEY(少數族裔、長者、青少年)計劃』度做咗三年喇。喺度我除咗會做番梘分類同埋加工,仲會帶領義工活動,同佢哋一齊刨乾淨啲番梘,靚靚咁分派俾人。你諗吓酒店全部嗰啲用唔晒嘅衛生用品,就會發現其實係嘥咗好多番梘。喺呢度做嘢最開心就係有唔同年代嘅人一齊合作。我出世嗰年係1941年,三年零八個月剛剛開始嗰陣。可以同你講,嗰段日子真係好難忘﹗我望落可能係一個老嘢,但我內心仲好年輕,啲後生都好鍾意同我玩㗎。」 


  “I have always been an adventurous and curious person and my career path definitely reflected that. I still remember my first job at age 14; I was paid HK$20 a month working at a leather shoes factory. When I turned 18, I got my driver’s licence. The tests were not as strict back then so I passed in my first go. I decided to enroll in the police force and did that for 6 years; I learned a lot there and luckily had no near-death experiences! I still meet up regularly with the friends I made from all those years ago - it’s quite special to be able to maintain friendships for six decades. Next, I became a firefighter for a year. It was short and sweet. Throughout my life I did many types of shifts work; I went on to become a bus driver, a taxi driver and a minibus driver, until I retired in 2000 and then years later got involved with Soap Cycling. I always tell people that I was educated at the ‘University of Society’. There is no rule that says your life and career has to be linear. Everything I know in life I learned from living; and trying out and working in different professions. We never stop learning!” 

「我個性格係好鍾意冒險同埋試新嘢,你睇吓我做過幾多份工就知。我仲記得我第一份工係14歲嗰陣喺間皮鞋廠度做,每個月廿蚊人工。到18歲嗰陣,我就考咗個車牌,嗰時啲考試冇咁嚴格嘅,我考一次就得咗。之後我決定去考警察,一做就做咗六年,喺嗰度學到好多嘢㗎,好彩冇遇過啲太驚險嘅大場面﹗嗰時識落嘅朋友,到而家我哋都仲會定期出嚟見面,呢啲友情可以維持到60年,都幾難得。再之後呢,我去咗做消防員,短短哋做咗一年,都好難忘。我仲做過好多要輪班嘅工作,試過去揸巴士啦,揸的士又有,揸小巴都有。到 2000年我退咗休,過咗好多年之後就入咗嚟再皂福呢度幫手。我成日同人講我係喺『社會大學』畢業嘅,人生同埋事業從來冇規定要係一條直路㗎,我所有識嘅嘢都係靠做人學返嚟,同埋嘗試做唔同嘅工作囉。我哋係要不斷學習嘅﹗」


“I was born in Shunde (順得) in Guangdong, and came to Hong Kong with my family when I was just one year old. I grew up on Cheung Chau island and had a great childhood there. Even at this age, I want to keep working and being engaged with my community for as long as I can. I’m happy that I am able to do this at Soap Cycling. How do I manage to stay so young? I worked really hard when I was younger and life was tough, but I have gradually learned to let go and am really happy now. I am lucky that I can eat well and sleep well. I don’t drink, I don’t smoke and I don’t even know how to gamble. I think that helps. In my downtime, I love to go hiking and travelling. I’ve been to the US, Canada, the Philippines, Russia...I like to explore different countries and I don’t have a favourite - as long as there is fun, I’m there!”