The Quezon City government launched “Trash to Cashback’ to drastically reduce plastic waste towards a greener metro, while teaching how the public can turn what’s in their trash into groceries.

Supervised by the Environmental Protection and Waste Management Department, and in partnership with the Basic Environmental Systems and Technologies, Inc. (BEST).

The My Basurero Eco-Community kiosk located at the QC Hall Risen Garden us the pilot location and enables employees to exchange recyclable waste for groceries. By giving the kiosk items such as recyclable paper, plastic, and metal waste, people can earn Environmental Points (EPs) which have a corresponding value in goods.

EPs can be exchanged for preserves like sandwich spreads, and canned fish and meat. They can also be exchanged for food items like rice, eggs, bread, fruits, vegetables, sugar and even essentials such as toiletries.

The benefits of this program are multi-fold, not only does it encourage the public to gather and trade in their recyclables for valuable commodities instead of throwing them away, it also teaches waste segregation, contextualizing value in what’s thought of as mere trash, while also incentivizing the move to less reliance on plastics.

EPs can also be used in bXTRA food deliveries and, further along, the program looks to welcome micro and small businesses into the program fold as partner merchants. Caravans and mobile stores carrying the program’s waste exchange points system will soon be rolled out to QC barangays at strategic locations. Quezon City residents who wish to participate are encouraged to register their email to BeepXTRA Philippines, BEST’s Cashback Loyalty Platform partner, to earn EPs. While a complete list of partner stores and establishments can be accessed through bXTRA.com.ph and bXTRAoutlet.delivery.

The program is also rolled out to the barangays  to make it more accessible and convenient to residents. This will intensify segregation and introduce the concept recycling and a circular economy for a sustainable lifestyle.

Trash from metal papers, PET bottles, single-use plastics (SUP) such as shampoo sachets, coffee packs and even on-line shopping plastic packages are accepted.

Points can be kept or can be donated to a chosen beneficiaries identified by the barangays from various sectors.  The beneficiary in turn will receive an incentive bag consisting of rice and vegetables from Quezon City’s own urban farms. The city will also introduce the program to different establishments such malls, hotels and restaurants.