The holiday season is the busiest time of the year for Filipinos. It is also a period wherein trash can accumulate easily as a result of various activities linked to the season’s celebrations. Knowing this, SM is encouraging Filipinos to observe responsible solid waste management as they celebrate the holidays via the Trash-to-Cash recycling program.
Trash-to-Cash is SM’s long-running environmental initiative aimed at educating the community to recycle, dispose of their trash properly, and earn in the process. Launched in 2007, the program is part of the company’s efforts in compliance with Republic Act No. 9003, also known as the Ecological Solid Waste Management Program.
SM’s recycling market happens every first Friday and Saturday of the month from 10:00 AM to 2:00 PM. Participants in the program can find the market in designated areas across all SM Supermalls in the country, as well as in five SMDC Residences – Jazz, Light, Mezza, M Place, and Sun.
Trash-to-Cash accepts a wide selection of waste items, including scrap paper, cardboard, glassware, plastics, metal, and electronics, among others, which are then exchanged for cash depending on their value. SM recently included the recycling of used lead-acid batteries to help in the responsible disposal of hazardous waste.
Under the program, SM also involves its partner tenants. Part of this is the buyout of their used cooking oil, which also complies with government policies on the responsible disposal of hazardous waste, as well as encouraging them to dispose of their unusable or broken lightbulbs through the program, to name a few.
Since its launch, Trash-to-Cash has enabled the proper disposal of millions of tonnes of solid waste. In 2019 alone, the program diverted a total of 9,910,004 kg. of paper, plastic, glass, metal, and other types of waste material from landfills. An estimated 83,418,598 kgs of waste have also been turned over in the program’s 13-year run.
A majority of the items transacted at the market are paper products. Data from 2015 to 2019 show that the paper recycled through the company’s solid waste management efforts, including Trash-to-Cash, has saved 410,691 seven-year-old trees. About 2,514,926 kgs of paper have been recycled since its launch.
“A lot of us don’t notice it, but during the holidays, we produce more trash than we do any other time of the year, from the plastic bags and boxes that we take home after shopping, to the wrapping paper that we crumple after opening gifts on Christmas Day,” said Engr. Liza B. Silerio, SM’s Vice President on Corporate Compliance and Head of SM Sustainability and Environment Program.
“As we start thinking of what gifts to buy for our loved ones, this is the perfect time to also remember our collective responsibility to the environment. Being eco-responsible is the best gift that we can ever give to Mother Nature this holiday season, which is why we urge everyone to look at sustainable ways to get rid of their solid waste, such as our Trash-to-Cash market,” Silerio said.
SM Cares is the corporate social responsibility arm of SM Supermalls, which spearheads programs focusing on social inclusion and care for the environment. In addition to its eco-centric programs, SM Cares’ advocacies include programs on women and breastfeeding mothers, persons with disabilities, senior citizens, and children and youth. Learn more at www.smsupermalls.com/smcares.