TRASH FOR RICE. An elderly woman shows the pack of rice she got in exchange for her collected recyclable plastics at the redemption area in Angeles City, Pampanga in this undated photo. The city government of Angeles is implementing a program dubbed “Walang Plastikan-Plastik Palit Bigas" in a bid to encourage residents to practice waste segregation in their own homes. (File photo courtesy of the Angeles City government)

ANGELES CITY – The city government here is inching its way toward achieving its goal of reducing if not eliminating the use of plastics.

Since its project dubbed “Walang Plastikan-Plastik Palit Bigas was launched in January 2022, city residents are getting used to practicing waste segregation at source or in their own homes.

Under the project, the city government collects recyclable plastics from Angeleño households in exchange for rice. Some residents themselves bring their collected plastics to the redemption booth at the city hall compound here.

One kilo of recyclable plastics is equivalent to one kilo of rice.

Mayor Carmelo Lazatin Jr. thanked his constituents for participating in the project.

“While we aim to reinforce waste segregation and reduce the use of plastic, we are also offering a little reward for their effort — rice. Helping our kababayans (town mates) to put food on the table,” Lazatin said in a statement on Wednesday.

Through the project, a total of 2,054,091 kilos of plastic were collected from the city's 33 barangays and redemption booths from January 2022 to April 30, 2023.

City Engineer Donato Dizon said that the collected plastics are being sold to cement companies.

The earnings, he said, are turned over to the City Treasurer’s Office.

In June last year, the city government purchased plastic shredder machines that help in the recycling of the collected plastics into brick pavers, the first of its kind in the city and in Pampanga.

The machines, Dizon earlier said, can accommodate even hard stiff plastic like monoblock chairs. (PNA)