Mercado de Trueque – Residents of Mexico City are embracing a creative recycling program that is turning trash into food.
Mexico City – The Mexican capital is home to more than 20 million people ...
Mexico City – ... who combined create a mountain of trash. An estimated 12,600 metric tons was being deposited daily in the Bordo Poniente landfill site before it closed late last year. Now, a new barter scheme called Mercado de Trueque is incentivizing residents to recycle more waste.
Mercado de Trueque – Jose Luis Aranda is one of thousands of locals embracing the government scheme.
Mercado de Trueque – Aranda and his housemates gather glass, plastic and cardboard and take it to the city's Chapultepec Park.
Mercado de Trueque – The items are separated, weighed and emptied into recycling bins.
Mercado de Trueque – In return, Aranda and his friends receive 300 "green points" between them.
Mercado de Trueque – The vouchers are exchanged for fresh food produced by local farmers, who are subsidized by the local government.
Mercado de Trueque – For Aranda it's not just about buying vegetables to eat. He also picked up baby lettuce plants which he says he will grow at home. "In a month, I'll have 14 big lettuces that I can come back and sell here," he says.
Mercado de Trueque – Aranda and a housemate leave the market with a haul of fresh vegetables and the satisfaction of knowing that recycling their unwanted waste has proved profitable for them and the local environment.