The Manila Electric Company (Meralco) encouraged more individuals to join the Quezon City government’s Trash-to-Cashback Program to earn points that they can use for their utility bills.
In partnership with bXTRA Philippines Inc. and Basic Environmental Systems and Technologies Inc., this initiative grants people to trade their recyclables for points that can be used for payment of bills.
Under the Trash-to-Cashback Program, eco-warriors can drop off their waste materials (plastic bottles, single-use plastics, paper, boxes, metal) in various Meralco Business Centers in Kamuning, Commonwealth and Novaliches.
The frequently asked questions about QC’s program can be viewed here.
In December 2021, Meralco and Bayad, its payment services company, partnered with Quezon City LGU for this program.
As of June 2022, the electric distribution utility company centers that served as drop-off locations have collected a total of 2,015 kilograms of recycled materials which is equivalent to 6,865 environmental points.
Fifty-nine eco-warriors were able to pay their utility bills using these points in Bayad centers located at Ever Gotesco-Commonwealth, and Barangays Gulod and Sauyo in Novaliches.
This initiative, however, is not only limited to Quezon City residents, according to Kamuning-Roosevelt Business Center head Agnes Macob.
“Some eco-warriors not living in QC participated in the program and made use of our drop-off locations to avail of the environmental points conversion for their utility bills, particularly their Meralco bill,” said Macob.
Due to the success of its initial run, the Trash-to-Cashback Program in QC was extended from March 2022 to December 2022. With this, the electric distribution utility firm seeks to encourage more eco-warriors in other LGUs to adopt this waste reduction program.
Ferdinand Geluz, Meralco’s first vice-president and chief commercial officer expressed his gratitude to Quezon City Mayor Joy Belmonte for her support of the initiative.
“With the success of our partnership with the Quezon City LGU, we hope that other LGUs will be inspired to adopt this program, to realize its positive impact on the government’s waste reduction efforts, and to embed sustainability in the hearts and minds of their constituents,” said Geluz.
More environmental initiatives
Just last May, Meralco employees volunteered for the clean-up drive to remove the overgrown water hyacinths found along a portion of Pasig River.
This initiative was organized by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources and the Pasig River Coordinating and Management Office in line with the International Day of Biological Diversity.
The electric distribution utility firm offered its Tegen Substation as the temporary staging area for the water hyacinths before they were transferred to Tondo, Manila for proper disposal. One Meralco Foundation, the company’s social development arm, also provided the tools and equipment necessary for the clean-up operation.
The goal of this special inter-agency clean-up drive is to unclutter the vent surrounding Isla de Provisor in the City of Manila from overgrown water hyacinths which cause flooding, especially during the rainy season as they clog vital waterways.
Meralco’s partnership with the local government units and other government agencies is in line with their efforts to promote the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals – SDG 11: Sustainable Cities and Communities and SDG 12: Responsible Consumption and Production.