Green Malls: SM’s Trash to Cash and Ayala’s Recyclables Fair

by Ka Edong on June 13, 2008

It started with SM. They invited people to bring their recyclables to the SM parking lot on a specific saturday of the month. Recyclables were collected, some of the trash was converted into cash. And this was happening in all SM malls all around the country.

Trash to Cash Recycling market at SM Supermalls

Then Ayala launched their Recyclables Fair also. Ayala’s Fair happens at different Ayala malls on different days.

Ayala Recyclables Fair

Great Green Program

I can’t help but think that there’s a person or group that deliberately brought the idea to the biggest malls in the country. I wouldn’t be surprised if the Robinson’s chain of malls starts doing this too.


Everybody turns out a winner here. To start, the awareness campaign raised by the malls helps people think about all the junk that they’ve accumulated in their homes. That’s a huge step already as I’m sure there are millions of Filipinos who keep stuff that are no longer used.

Patrons who bring their recyclables to the malls get to unclutter their home, put good things to good use (that blanket you’ve been keeping for 10 years — it could have been used by another family to protect them from the cold) and earn some money at the same time.

The recyclers who collect and buy the recyclables – they now have a massive boost in their collection of recyclables with the “marketing” and logistic support of the malls.

The malls, on the other hand, have turned their idle parking lots (idle in the mornings) into revenue generating assets. Of course the malls aren’t directly paid for the use of their parking lot. But take a look at the dynamics. What will patrons do after they sell, say 1,000 pesos worth of recyclables? They will spend it, of course. And guess where they will spend it? At the mall! 🙂 Yes, the malls earn from hosting these recycling fairs.

The environment is a big winner too! Yes the big Mommah Earth wins here. More materials re-used and recycled means less trash and better use of resources.

Kariton mag-bobote losing business?

How about the neighborhood mag-bo-bote? Aren’t they adversely affected by the Green Malls? Don’t the malls eat up the “market” of the kariton magbobote?

I think not. I think that the awareness campaign of the malls will ultimately put more recyclable materials out into the open. When convenient, people will bring their recyclables to the mall. But when it’s too inconvenient, people will rather give (or sell) the recyclables to the mag-bobote.

Imagine being dressed up ready to go to the mall and bringing along your old airconditioning unit. I think in this case, the aircon unit will be sold to the magbobote instead of the mall.

At the end of it all, the mere awareness of recycling will bring out more recyclables and will ultimately benefit everybody.

Win win! Yahoo!

Trash to Cash Recycling Market at SM Supermalls

  • Every 1st Saturday of the month, 8am to 2pm at the open parking of ALL SM Supermalls
  • Scrap paper and cardboard
  • empty ink and toner cartridge
  • plastic bottles and plastic scraps
  • used lead batteries (from cars, UPS/Voltage regulators)
  • Aluminum, tin cans, busted rechargeable lamps
  • Polysterene, styrofoam, junk cellphone, cellphone batteries (not for recycling/buying)
  • Website:

Ayala Recyclables Fair

  • 4th Friday of the Month, 8am-3pm – Trinoma, North Open Parking
  • 2nd Friday of the month – Glorietta, Goldcrest parking, Makati
  • 3rd Friday of the month – Alabang Town Center, Mntinlupa
  • Used lead-acid batteries, e-waste (electronics, appliances, obsolete computers), paper waste, plastic and metal waste (VHS and betamax tapes, cassette tapes, bottles etc.), Printer cartridges.
  • For proper disposal only: Tarpaulin streamers, household batteries, polystyrene packaging, mobile phones, batteries, chargers.
  • For more info, contact 901-3000 (Trinoma Concierge) or 752-1084 (Ayala Foundation);
  • Website:

Related Links:

Recycling at the malls according to blogs:

ka edong
recycled mind


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