My SM Trash To Cash Experience

Posted by Fitz Villafuerte under Life Lessons on August 2, 2008

I did an inspection of the office stock room the other day. Looking around, I noticed that electronic junk and waste paper from the past four months have already accumulated significantly. Boxes of paper, old magazines, computer casings, empty ink cartridges, defective scanners and printers were neatly stacked in one corner.

Immediately, I checked my schedule and was glad to see that I didn’t have any important appointments for the weekend. So I decided to pack everything and prepared to bring them to the upcoming recycling market in SM. πŸ™‚

Here are some pictures I took that day:

Unloading the junk from my car

Unloading the junk from my car

I arrived around lunchtime at the west parking lot of SM Southmall. Immediately, the staff approached with shopping carts and helped me unload the items from my car.

Registration booth

Registration booth

First stop was the registration booth where I filled out a form and told the staff what items I brought.

Booth stubs

Booth stubs

The lady at the registration then gave me stubs that tell which booths I’m supposed to bring my items.

Paper and plastics booth

Paper and plastics booth

I took this picture while waiting in line at the paper and plastics recycling booth. The two boxes at the corner are mine. πŸ™‚

Truck load of electronic junk.

Truck load of electronic junk.

My second stop was the e-waste booth where you could bring all of your electronic junk. As you can see, they accept almost everything. Can you see the turbo broiler?

E-Waste booth

E-Waste booth

Here I am posing with the guy assigned at the electronic junk booth. Thumbs up for the excellent price he gave me for my items.

Ink cartridge booth

Ink cartridge booth

HP cartridges that haven’t been refilled and still in good condition would sell around P50 to P200 depending on the model. They also accept other printer brands.

With the ink cartridge mom

With the ink cartridge mom

This is a picture of me and the nice mommy assigned at the ink cartridges booth, my last stop at the recycling market.

Lunch time

Lunch time

After getting my payment, I decided to head inside and have some lunch. You can see me holding my loot for the day. I earned a total of P1,064.50, not bad don’t you think?

Here’s a breakdown of the items I brought:

  • 24 kilos of assorted metal scrap
  • 8 kilos of CPU casings
  • 2 defective motherboards
  • 19 kilos of waste paper
  • 1.5 kilos of carton boxes
  • 1.5 kilos of plastics
  • 12 pieces empty ink cartridges

SM Trash To Cash is an affair that happens from 8am to 2pm, every first Friday and Saturday of the month at the open parking in every SM Supermall. It’s sponsored by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources and is brought to us in partnership with the SM Group of Companies and the Philippine Business for the Environment.

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45 Responses to “My SM Trash To Cash Experience”

  1. […] Read about My SM Trash To Cash experience and learn how much you can possibly earn from the recycling market. Related Posts Top 8 Things […]

  2. Lee Angelo says:

    this is something we should all follow..earning at the same time protecting Mother nature. Great post!

  3. Fitz says:

    Hi Lee Angelo, thanks for the comment. I edited out your email to protect your privacy. Please check you email, I’m sending you the information you need there. Thanks!

  4. Lee Angelo says:

    Thanks for the concern. Hope your site will make it as finalist! More power!

  5. Ed says:

    great move by SM. i have a lot of junks here. =D

  6. Aileen Apolo says:

    Uyyy okay ito ha!

  7. Ross says:

    That looks like a really cool event. I actually work with an internet company that does the same thing: give you cash for your used gadget. We feel that reuse is the best solution for the E-Waste problem. Recycling is certainly very important (we do it too!) and all electronics need to be recycled eventually, but with reuse, the lifespan of your gadget is increased and someone gets to benefit from a device for which they have a real use.

  8. hmmmmmmmm, nice idea fitZ, trash to cash!!! mkahanap nga ng trash dito xa office, hehe, meron b nyan xa iloilo? hehehe

  9. gL3nnx says:

    thanks for sharing fits, di ko alam to ah! hehe, dami pala naka tambak na Pera sa bahay namin hehe.

  10. ambo says:

    Nice idea! Kudos to SM and to you brother!

  11. Fitz says:

    Thanks everyone for your comments! πŸ˜€

    Ed and Glenn – time for you guys to turn those trash into cash on September!

    Ross – thanks for sharing your website. I hope my readers who don’t have access to a recycling center will use it as an alternative to get rid of their electronic junk.

    Gusher – as far as I know, all SM branches hold this event. πŸ˜€

    Aileen and Ambo – thanks for dropping by! πŸ™‚

  12. juler says:

    Wow thats big money for a trash… Pwede din cguro ung trash ng Baguio bigay dyan hehehe problem ung trash dito as of now eh! Nice post Fitz tumaba ka comapre dun sa gravatar mo!

  13. Fitz says:

    Thanks juler, may SM naman diyan sa Baguio – sa kanila mo na lang ibigay ang mga trash mo. Hehe.

    And yes, I gained mass since I started weight training. My gravatar was taken at the height of my cardio training last year where I lost major pounds. That was very observant of you. πŸ™‚

  14. Trash Cash Another way to earn. | Lessonko's Passive Income says:

    […] You can read all about his experience on how they earn P1000 bucks just for the trash he delivered to the junk station in SM. (hehehe Junk station) Read it here. […]

  15. Hello Fitz. Thank you for sharing this story. I should check out the stuff we have at home and better start taking it there.

  16. Nicely says:

    ang layo naman ng sm southmall sa place namin. sana meron din sa sm dasmariΓ±as, cavite para pwede i-commute. 2 sets pa naman ng old computers meron ako. hay…

  17. edelweiza says:

    wow, this is innovative! di ko alam meron palang ganitong proyekto ang SM…tunay na kahanga-hanga…nagka-idea tuloy ako…thanks for sharing! πŸ™‚

  18. Fitz says:

    Hi Nicely, ang alam ko meron ‘yan sa lahat ng SM branches. So I guess it’s also available in SM Dasma. πŸ˜€

  19. […] Balers In Recycling Service.. “A Buck and some Band Aids” « Stuck on Sweets My SM Trash To Cash Experience Smart ways to earn from trash (and save the planet) Turning your trash into cash — Plenty […]

  20. Riding the Green Wagon | My Happy Thoughts says:

    […] doesn’t buy.Β  We might just end up making a few extra bucks like this guy.Β  We all have “stuff” lying around the house that we can sell not only to make money, […]

  21. great post! your blog is a great idea… i’m glad you’re able to share your experiences regarding lessons you learned about entreprenuership. wish you all the best with your quest for financial freedom! πŸ˜€

    *heading to the nearest sm mall with my trash* LOL!

  22. Cupid says:

    Hi. Nice blog. Was searching Google for info on the Trash-to-Cash program and found your blog instead.

    We’ve been wanting to head to SM’s Trash-to-Cash program for the past 3 months but I always end up being busy the first weekend of the month.

    Anyway, I have questions, if you don’t mind.
    1) Are magazines considered scrap paper?
    2) Are paper products really for trade only?
    3) Does SM have a website on this project that I can get more information from (so I won’t bother you too much)?

    Thanks a lot. I will definitely follow your blog a lot more.
    Happy New Year!

  23. Fitz says:

    Hi Cupid, to answer your questions:
    1. Yes, magazines are considered scrap paper.
    2. Nope, you can trade paper products for cash.
    3. As far as I know, SM doesn’t have a website about this project.

    Thanks for the visit! πŸ˜€

  24. Cupid says:

    Cool. Thanks for answering.
    More power to you.

  25. cristina says:

    is SM still conducting these waste market fairs? i have 3 huge bags of scratch papers from college that i want to recycle. Hope you can help me. Thanks.

  26. Fitz says:

    Yes Cristina, it’s still ongoing.

  27. Joe says:

    I’m kinda disappointed with my Trash to Cash experience at SM Cebu though. First, there was no segregation involved (separating computer components from other metal scrap as what you described in your post. And most of what I brought were old or defective computer parts). From my 17.5 kilos of “assorted” (as how they categorized it) metal scrap, 17 kilos of scrap paper (newspapers and brochures),2 HP cartridges (each at 10 pesos ONLY) (13 were of Canon brand – PIXMA iP4200 which they said were not included), I got only a total of PHP 193.5

  28. Arnold says:

    pwede ba yung mga product catalogues? telephone directory? thick magazines?

  29. Kim says:

    Thank you for the information I found here in your blog! ^^;

  30. Eduard says:

    Till when yung SM Trash to Cash promo?

    Marami po dito sa office na defective Monitors, CPU, Parts na pinapadispose na sa akin…kaya lang di ko alam kung saan.

    Ano po ba contact number ng mga organizers?

    Thank you….

  31. Fitz says:

    Eduard, every SM branch has a different organizer. Better ask the admin of the SM near you. And yes, this is still ongoing.

  32. pinayrichmom says:

    sayang, ngayon pala ang schedule ng SM Trash to Cash, tagal ko nang nag-iisip kung pano idi-dispose ang mga kung anu-anong bagay na di na namin ginagamit dito sa bahay eh. I’ll note the schedule for next month. Thanks for this great tip! =)

  33. Louie Dela Cruz says:

    How much did they pay you for every kilo of scrap paper? Do they consider colored and plain white scrap paper as the same or does the former cost a little higher? Thanks in advance! Your blog was really helpful…

  34. Jess says:

    I have a lot of original empty Epson 91N and 73N cartridges. However, these are non-refillable cartridges. Do you think they will buy these? Thank you Fritz! Your blog really helps πŸ™‚

  35. Fitz says:

    The price varies, depending on who SM was able to outsource. Just check your local branch. And in my experience, it doesn’t matter if it’s colored or plain white – the weight of the paper is what matters to them.

    I’m not really sure. I suggest you visit SM Trash to Cash and ask the ink cartridge buyers. It’s usually different in every branch so it also helps to check other SM branches if the one you asked doesn’t buy those. Hope I was able to help.

  36. Bhe says:

    I’m kinda disappointed with my Trash to Cash experience today at SM Centerpoint, Sta Mesa. First, there was no segregation involved. Parang dinaya n rin nila sa timbang.Imagine: 5 kilos of scrap materials, computer parts (2 epson printers, power supply and harddisk), 20 pcs of AA batteries, 2 celfone batteries, 1 alcatel celfone, 1 star tac celfone, 2 kartons, 10 ink cartrdges (Epson, HP & Brother), ID caller device, & 5 defective chargers : P 57.45???? I decided not to sell these items kasi parang niloko nila ako dito…How frustrated!!…:(

    Next time, before you sell these items, kelangan i-segregate muna nila bago kayo pumayag ng ganun amount…I dont know how you come up with amount of P1,000+?…Kc ngulat ako n P 57 lang ang makukuha ko ng amount.

  37. Fitz says:


    I’m sorry to hear about your experience. Each SM Mall has different contacts for the SM Trash to Cash.

    If it would help, try to go to other SM Malls and perhaps canvass first on how much you would potentially get for your scraps since you already have an inventory of it.

    This would save you the hassle of bring your junk first.

    And a tip, after canvassing and you find a good price – get their contact number and just go to them directly so you won’t need to wait for next month’s schedule.

  38. Condensada says:

    Hello! Trash to Cash is an ongoing project of SM Malls. If you missed the dates to sell your trash on the given dates, you can directly bring it to junk shop.

    We also join the trash to cash of SM projects. We are buying any scrap materials and we are located in Aster St. TS CRUZ Subd. Las Pinas City. We also pick up if you have lots of things to disposed or wanted to sell.

    Email me for further info at

  39. Jen says:

    i like trash for cash! it is a way for us to help save the environment… it’s not so much for the money coz these old things are just trash… we don’t use them anymore…

  40. Fitz says:

    Hi Jen! Yes, it’s a great way to help save the environment too.

  41. tessa says:


    just want to know if SM recycling market gives docs or any proof for your transactions (i.e Acknowledgement receipt ,Official receipt)

    Thanks in advance for any inputs.

  42. Kc says:

    Hi, ask ko lng kung magkano po ang palitan ng pet bottles and papers? Thanks for ur response πŸ™‚

  43. Grace says:

    Hi! Is SM City Iloilo still conducting these waste market fairs? Thank you!

  44. Beverly says:

    Good Morning Po,

    Sir is this drive Trash to Cash is still on going?


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