A growing number of cities in Central and South America are giving residents what may be the best deal ever made: You give us trash, and we give you food.
The Brazilian city of Jundiai has been offering “Delicious Recycling” for 10 years. When residents bring in recyclables, they get vegetables from a local, public garden. It’s really working, according to TreeHugger:
“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.”
Another Brazilian city, Curitiba (which regularly makes “world’s greenest cities” lists) has been running a similar program since 1991. With this long history of success, other cities are ready to try it out. Mexico City just recently adopted the idea and is offering “lettuce, prickly pears, spinach, tomatoes, plants, and flowers,” according to FastCoExist. At the first trash-for-food event, in March, the city gave out three tons of food. I don’t even want to think about how much trash they got in exchange for that.