Monkey Proof Rubbish Bin Project in Malaysia

In 2023, Monkey Forest funded a conservation project in Malaysia to protect Long-tailed macaques through the PSGB (Primate Society of Great Britain).


Dr Sharmini Julita Parmasivam received the Monkey Forest award (funded by the Monkey Forest Adoption Pack Campaign) to complete her project to reduce drivers of human-monkey conflict in Malaysia.


Dr Sharmini’s project involved designing, proto-typing, and rolling out monkey-proof bin latches to prevent Long-tailed macaques from accessing human food bins. Approximately 7,000 complaints are received yearly in Malaysia regarding these macaques and accessible human waste bins were a primary driver for the presence of the macaques in urban communities.


A prototype of a monkey-proof bin latch was designed and tested by the Animal Neighbours Project in 2020, a community-based project led by Dr Sharmini, a veterinarian and senior academic at the University of Surrey. The outcomes revealed the latch to be effective at preventing macaques from accessing bins. Latches were installed in a few areas to test the longevity and effectiveness of this device. Two years on the residents in the pilot study report that the latches are still working to prevent monkeys from accessing food waste!


From our award, latches will be mass-produced and implemented in urban areas across Malaysia with the aim to reduce complaints and empower developers, local government, and residents’ associations to implement a strategy locally to reduce drivers before defaulting to the current practice of requesting the animals must be removed from the area.


This will have a hugely positive impact on the welfare and conservation of Long-tailed macaques in these urban areas.