Did you know that more than 90% of the plastics that we throw away ends up in the landfill? This is despite the sorting done by the garbage people at the trash collectors at our buildings. The trash collectors of your condo buildings usually separate the easily recyclable and high value waste from the rest to supplement their income, but they cannot afford time to sort out, let alone clean, recyclables that are mixed with other waste. As a result, dumpsite gets most of the otherwise recyclable items.
Clean vs Dirty Plastic Waste
Admittedly, not all plastic waste can be cleaned easily. Sachets with sauces, for example, require a lot of work to get the grease out. That is one of the main reasons that a lot of recyclable items do not get recycled, and end up in the dump, and their harmful chemicals in the water and then into our eco system.
Trash to Cashback Scheme
Lucky for us who want to do our part in reducing the harm that we do to our environment, a company, Basic Environmental Systems and Technologies (BEST), has a program to make it easy for residents to have their disposed items recycled. In partnership with the authorities in BGC, BEST offers to collect cleaned recyclables, and the partner accepts points given for the recyclables in exchange for goods such as groceries.
The company has five pick-up points in BGC at different times during Saturday and Sunday in BGC.
The cashback that they offer gives incentives to those who otherwise would not take the time to clean or sort their recyclables.
The difference in cashback value between clean and dirty recyclables is quite significant, as can be seen from the 'price list' that the company provided below.
While those of us who are eco-conscious do not need the financial incentive to get us to contribute our time and labor to clean and sort the recyclables, it can motivate those who have access to a large amount of recyclables to do more.
Incentive for building administration offices
Building administrators, for example, can use this program to encourage their janitors to do more to sort and clean the trash that land in the building's collection point, and let them keep the money from the Cashback program.
Currently, the trash segregation practice of each building in BGC varies. Some provide bins for residents to put clean recyclables in. Most, however, do not. Some are strict about residents segregating their waste, but most are lax, due to some residents' eco-apathy and practical issues, such as a lack of properly colored bags to separate the trash.
This Trash to Cashback scheme may just give them enough push to do more.
Accepted types of recyclables
Many types of recyclables are accepted. Plastics, both hard (bottles and containers) and soft ones (packaging) are accepted, but they need to be separated. Tektra packs are also accepted (thank goodness!).
They have not found partners to recycle glass and electronic waste yet, though. That is unfortunately. There are places that accept electronic waste in BGC, such as Globe Telecom shops. The glass bottles may be picked up by the regular trash collectors, but they should be segregated in order to avoid breakage.
The trash problem in the Philippines is serious. If you think the ones you see on the street, or the beaches that you visit is bad, then the ones that you do not see is way much worse. Poisons in the food is not visible, but a lot comes from the plastics that we casually discard. It is never too little to do our part.