Providing financial incentives for recycling is a practical solution for waste processing that promotes environmental protection and educates communities in areas without a formalised recycling process.

Wongpanit started off with one man and a truck offering a waste collection service, before opening a recycling centre and incentivising local residents to collect and bring waste in exchange for cash. Wongpanit has a daily buying pricelist for more than 220 items of recyclable waste to attract people, communities, organizations, and manufacturers to sort and sell their waste. There is also a franchise recycling business, which has expanded Wongpanit’s solution across Thailand and Malaysia.

Wongpanit aims to change the perception of waste from dirty garbage to a valuable resource by empowering local residents regardless of income or resources. The solution makes it possible for entire communities to protect their environment as well as support economic activity.

I believe that waste does not exist on this planet, merely misplaced resources.

Dr. Somthai Wongcharoen – President, Wongpanit.

Why you should care

World cities are expected to generate 2.4 billion tons of solid waste per year by 2025.  Wongpanit’s solution is helping to view this as an opportunity for individuals and communities. Wongpanit also offer training to communities on how to start recycling businesses.

How the Global Goals are addressed

Decent Work and Economic Growth

Wongpanit’s micro-business opportunities offer decent work conditions for men and women in communities throughout Thailand and beyond.

Reduced Inequalities

Recycling requires very little to start, so Wongpanit’s cash for materials can offer opportunities for the poorest individuals, thus helping to reduce inequalities.

Sustainable Cities and Communities

Encouraging recycling from the bottom up helps to make communities and cities cleaner, healthier and less dependent on imported new resources.

Responsible Consumption and Production

Re-framing waste as a valuable resource helps to change attitudes about discarding used materials, leading to more responsible consumer behaviour.