DENR National Capital Region and Basic Environmental Systems & Technologies, Inc. signed a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) on the Trash to Cashback program on Friday, August 6, 2021, through a video conferencing app.

BEST, Inc., is the company behind the My Basurero app, a waste collection service that allows users to exchange their recyclables for Environmental Points (EP). Accumulated EPs may then be used to purchase goods and services from partner merchant members of the program.

Under the agreement, DENR National Capital Region will provide space for BEST, Inc. at the National Ecology Center (NEC) to serve as My Basurero Eco-Community Canter (MBE-C) drop-off point. People with recyclables may bring their items to the MBE-C and exchange these for points. DENR National Capital Region will also help promote the program to its employees, clientele, and constituents within its jurisdiction and extend assistance to ensure the smooth operation of the program.

Regional Executive Director Jacqueline A. Caancan announced that the management is planning to replicate MBE-C drop off points at the DENR-NCR Production Nursery Compound in North Avenue, Quezon City, and in its Field Offices—in particular, at the North Field Office in Navotas City, South Field Office in Parañaque City, and West Field Office in Manila. These additional MBE-C drop-off points, Director Caancan explained, will widen coverage of the program and help reduce the number of recyclable materials that end up in waterways. This, she adds, will contribute to efforts on the cleanup and rehabilitation of Manila Bay.

Director Caancan notes that “solid waste management in the country, especially in Metro Manila, continues to be a major issue problem despite the passage of a landmark law a decade before." One stumbling block to the successful implementation of the Ecological Solid Waste Management Act, or RA 9003, she said, is the behavior and attitude of the people on the issue. “People tend to think that household wastes have no use after they are discarded. We need to change this mindset”, she said.

“With this program, we may be able to do so by instilling in them the value of recycling. The program may help them realize that, indeed, 'may pera sa basura'”, Director Caancan emphasized. “We are pursuing a circular economy—not simply prolonging the life of waste, but more on converting it to another raw material,” she concluded.

The MOA was signed by Regional Executive Director Jacqueline A. Caancan for DENR National Capital Region and BEST, Inc. Senior Vice President for Operations Emelita C. Aguinaldo. Standing as a witness is Assistant Regional Director for Special Concerns, Jose Martin V. Despi and BEEPXTRA Philippines, Inc. President, Jan Vincent P. Mercado, Forester Haidee D. Pabalate, the regional focal for the Manila Bay Site Coordinating and Management Office (MBSCMO), were also present during the ceremonial signing.