The Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) launched on Thursday, June 10 a waste diversion initiative wherein metro residents can trade in their trash for groceries.
“We hope to teach barangay leaders and residents how they can reduce their waste instead of indiscriminately dumping or throwing their trash along the streets and waterways,” MMDA Chairman Benhur Abalos said during the launch of the agency’s Mobile Materials Recovery Facility (MMRF).
The MMRF, dubbed “Recyclable Mo, Palit Grocery Ko,” allows residents of a certain barangay to exchange recyclable materials for commodities such as canned goods, instant noodles, and rice, among others.
Under the program, residents shall surrender items such as cartons, glass bottles, papers, tin cans, etc. to their respective barangays for the MMRF collection.
For every submission of recyclable materials, residents will earn points that they can use in redeeming grocery items during the scheduled MMRF market day.
The earned and redeemed points of each participating resident will be recorded on their own Ecosavers Passbook.
“Residents are encouraged to collect their recyclable materials in exchange for goods,” said Abalos. “To ensure compliance to the established safety and health protocols of the IATF and each locality, the MMDA will coordinate with the local government units (LGU) and the barangays prior to the scheduling and operation of the MMRF in their areas.”
The MMDA is also eyeing partnerships with accredited junk shops so the latter may purchase the recovered recyclable materials from the barangays. The money will then be used by the agency to buy the commodities for distribution during MMRF market day.
Abalos said that the project would increase waste diversion rate, reduce generation of single-use plastics, showcase alternative ways for the LGU to comply with the material recovery facility (MRF), and address lack of space and funds for the MRF establishment.