Brazilian City Offers Vegetables in Exchange for Trash


Written by Stephen Messenger

In many urban centers throughout the world, vibrant waste recycling programs aren’t just eco-minded niceties, they serve an essential role in keeping communities clean and clutter-free. But thanks to one forward-thinking initiative in the Brazilian city of Jundiaí, trading in trash has never been tastier.

Ten years ago, the city’s Municipal Utilities department launched “Delicious Recycling“, a program aimed at encouraging residents to get into the habit of collecting recyclable waste in exchange for fresh vegetables, grown locally in a public-run garden — and boy did it take off. Today, the garden boasts more than 30 thousand plants to meet the demand of thousands of veggie-loving recyclers, turning aluminum cans and plastic bottles into edible greens.

Ultimately, the program has done wonders for the health of the environment as well, by ridding the city of improperly disposed waste.

“What once cluttered and even choked the flow of water from storm drains is today used as currency for healthy food,” local mayor Miguel Haddad tells Jundiaí Online. “Everybody wins with this.”

As innovative as Jundiaí’s “Delicous Recycling” may seem, it’s actually not the first of its kind, but given the program’s success, it’s no wonder why. Though a number of other Brazilian municipalities offer similar incentives to reward recyclers with food, the idea seems to be catching internationally — like in Mexico City, where residents recently exchanged trash for nearly three tons of vegetables!

This post was originally published by TreeHugger.


Related Stories:

Greening the Aluminum Can: We Can Do It

One of the World’s Largest Landfills Closes

Recycling E-Waste Harms Developing Countries


Photo: alon salant/flickr

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Fred Hoekstra
Fred Hoekstra2 years ago

Thank you TreeHugger, for Sharing this!

Stanley Rampersad
Stanley Balgobin3 years ago

Marvelous, brilliant concept !!!

Sarah C.
Sarah C.3 years ago


Christine Stewart

That sounds like a very good trade!

Melissah Chadwick
Past Member 3 years ago


John McDonald
John McDonald3 years ago

I like it. Perhaps if Mayor Miguel Haddad of Jundiaí would have had a role in Rio+20, something might have been accomplished.

Lynne B.
Lynne B.3 years ago

Helping someone to help himself. Great idea.

Melania Padilla
Melania Padilla3 years ago

Great idea and what a good news!
Thanks for posting :)

Debra Sherwood
Debra meade3 years ago

A novel idea!

Angel Campbell
Angel Campbell3 years ago

Great idea.