Friday, March 15, 2013

How to turn Garbage to Money

An average Filipino generates 0.3 and 0.5 kg (rural and urban areas, respectively) of solid waste daily according to The Philippine Brown Environment (September 2005)

I have seen this tarpaulins and banner across our street and even outside my workplace. Our community leaders in our subdivision and baranggays are asked to follow the rules and regulations in waste segregation of our garbage. The local government units in our city has been spearheading this system of segregation since 2009 and local environmental board officials through the help of the local media, homeowners association and the local parish church have disseminated the information, educated local folks and help the community in spreading the word on implementing the solid waste segregation using the local Material Recovery Facility (MRF) nearby. Republic Act No. 9003 considers “waste as a resource that can be recovered”, emphasizing on recycling, reuse and composting as methods to minimize waste in short the Good Practice of the Three Rs’ are Reuse, Recover and Recycle.

“In a 2011 news article, a single Metro Manila resident produces 0.7 kilograms a day of trash wherein a  person is 0.3 kilogram in which is higher compared to the global average. Metro Manila alone produces a fourth of the Philippine garbage according to Emy Aguinaldo, executive director, of Department of Environment and National Resources –National Solid Waste Management Commission on that report.” 

A trash can be simple candy wrapper thrown away, a piece of used writing paper or plastic water container refuse we used after drinking, or a tin can of a sardine just to name a few examples.  Once a trash accumulates and not properly disposed or thrown away incessantly especially in a canal or sewer systems can clog the waterways and cause massive floods, water-borne illnesses and others that can affect us and also mother earth with the effects of climate change we experienced during Typhoon Ondoy (“Typhoon International Code: Ketsana”). The recycling effort can also reduce the trash in our landfills creating more space for other purposes it may serve.

There are ways to make money from these items which will benefit the ordinary Juan but also help our environment in which it is a win-win situation for all.

Tip 1 Are there any junk or useless items in your home:  Search, gather, sort and make an inventory of items you deemed are no longer useful in your house. Place them in boxes making them orderly and organized when moving them out.

Tip 2 Identify the recyclables from non-recyclables: Segregate the recyclables with non-recyclables. See the list below:
                                Recyclables - A few items on this general list
·         White and Colored Paper
·         Newspaper and Magazine
·         Aluminum and Tin Cans
·         Busted Electronic Gadgets / Appliances / Equipment
·         PET Plastic bottles
·         Glass bottles
·         Used Batteries (Motor)

                                Non-recyclables – Just a few items on this general list
·         Carbon paper
·         Wax-coated papers
·         Plastic-coated papers
·         Tissue or paper towels
·         Paper or containers contaminated by food or other organic waste
·         Plastic film
·         Styrofoam food containers and packing peanuts
·         Trash

Tip 3 Join Recycling Fairs in your community: There are Recycling fairs happening at major malls such as SM Supermall through their SM Cares Foundation in which they are conducting this earth saving project “Trash to Cash” on first Friday and Saturday of the month. Ayala Malls also have this project through Ayala Foundation’s “Ayala Recyclable Fair”. Both these mall giants through their corporate social responsibility organizations have been conducting this event since 2007. Their aim is to raise awareness in the community on the environment efforts of the malls. You can check the schedules of their local event in your nearby SM and Ayala malls near your location or their respective websites.

These are just partial list of materials or items they want:

·         Aluminum Soda Cans – PhP 20.00 per kilo
·         Defective Electronics/ Appliances / gadgets – PhP 5.00 per kilo
·         Tin Cans – PhP 2.00 per kilo
·         Cartons – PhP 2.00 per kilo
·         White Papers – PhP 5.00 per kilo
·         Colored Papers - PhP 0.50 per kilo
·         Plastic Bottles – PhP 8.00 per kilo
·         Scrap Metals – PhP 5.00 per kilo
·         Newspaper – PhP 3.00 per kilo
·         HP Ink Cartridge - Varies depending on model

*** The prices of these materials may change without prior notice.

Tip 4 Contact the local junk shops: if there are no malls supporting this events in your locality, don’t be alarmed. The local junk shops can help you in recycling those trashes and remove the clutter in your home. The bakal, dyaryo at bote (scrap metal, newspaper and bottle buyers) you see roaming around your neighborhood could help you and in your recycling effort giving extra income and helping the environment as well.

Tip 5 For those into Organic farming: the food leftovers, fruit and vegetable peelings and other organic materials can be used as fertilizers and vermicompost. Vermicompost is the product or process of composting using various earthworms to create a heterogeneous mixture of decomposing vegetable or food waste, bedding materials, and vermicast.

On March 23, 2013 (Saturday), turning the lights out for Earth Hour 2013” is just the beginning. Come on board and help us build lasting solutions for a living planet from 8:30 pm to 9:30 pm. Let’s support Earth Hour. 
CRB Benedict Baluyut, is a certified real estate professional (Real Estate Broker) a regular member of Registered Financial Planner - Philippines. He writes from time to time with Registered Financial Planner Column at Business Mirror. Catch his Facebook page Pinoymoneyvantage | Follow him at Twitter | Google + or visit his official blog at

Copyright 2008 - 2013. PinoyMoneyVantage| Personal Finance Help Philippines


Carlos said...


I've wwanted to do this for some time now. Thanks for tip on prices. And I didn't realize SM was still doing their trash to cash program. Would you know if it's also available/done in Metro Manila?

P.S. something doesn't sound right with the stat you mentioned. Metro Manila produces 1/4 (25%) of the total trash in the Philippines. But Metro Manila has roughly 50% of the Philippines population. So should their trash output be 50% or more?

Benedict Baluyut said...

Hi Carlos,

Yes there is on every first Saturdays and Sundays of the month. Check out the SM Cares website or their customer service for their event. Ayala Mall also have these events.

Lenddo Philippines said...

Hi Benedict! This is a very helpful post, especially for people who need a little bit of money to pad their expenses. Would you mind if we share this to our Facebook page ( or to our website ( Thank you! :)