One man’s trash is another man’s treasure PDF Print E-mail
Saturday, 14 March 2015 11:46

Lamberto junk shop is owned and managed by Mr. Danilo Josol and Mrs. Grace Josol, both public school teachers. As professional teachers, cleanliness and organization is their second nature, and so it is unusual to see them flourish in the junk shop business where “getting dirty” is the name of the game.

The business started out as small junk shop buyer with an initial investment of P300,000.  The shop then had five employees going around Dipolog City looking for recyclable wastes that can be sold to a bigger junk shop. These scraps are glass, plastics, metals and other items. The couple believes in the saying that “where there is trash, there is cash”

With the enormous demand for recycled plastic, the couple took the challenge of taking their enterprise into a higher level. The firm became the waste plastic guru of Dipolog City, and now expanding its reach to other areas of Zamboanga del Norte, taking in as much as half ton of plastic per day.

Positively, the firm contracted small junk shop buyers in nearby municipalities to buy plastic wastes on their behalf. This scenario has given other junk shop owners to thrive, and in return granted livelihood to the people in the community.  Most of the small junk shops do not employ collectors, but instead rely on freelancers who go house-to-house looking for garbages like steel, plastic and glass.

The plastic is crushed manually inside a sack using wooden sticks to compress and save space during transport. As the firm has improved its traditional type of operation, the market trend started to shift into shredded plastic. When segregated and shredded plastic became the norm in transporting them to Cebu, Manila and Cagayan de Oro, the firm was almost lost in transition. Evidently, the firm should have a plastic crusher in order to meet customers’ requirements.

Fortunately, the firm then read from the local newspaper about the DOST program for MSMEs through the Small Enterprise Technology Upgrading Program (SETUP). Without hesitation the owner visited the DOST Provincial Director’s office in Dipolog City for possible assistance.

The junkshop was then processing only half ton per day, though they buy junk items up to more than one ton per day.  This leaves a margin of about half a ton on daily basis.  This gap then prompted the owner to seek assistance from DOST to process at least one ton of plastic per day using a mechanical plastic shredder.

DOST-PSTC conducted technology needs assessment (TNA) and found out that the firm needs technology interventions to fill up the huge market gap.

DOST-IX’s innovation system support, in the amount of P1 million, enabled the firm to procure one unit Crusher with screw conveyor (big size stainless);   4 induction motors and washtub; and with 3 units screw conveyor (stainless). The Department has also conducted 5S training for the workers in order to develop their capabilities, thus increasing firm’s productivity.

Using an appropriate technology, the junk shop can now crush at least one ton of plastic per day. It has also added 10 direct employees that aid in segregation of plastics by color and kind.  As project counterpart, the firm also acquired a plastic bailing machine which uses to compress the shredded plastic into a one by one meter block for easy stacking and hauling.

Aside from cleaning the environment, the project has also generated new jobs both directly and indirectly, thus providing employment opportunities to out-of-school youths and unemployed folks in the nearby areas.

Certainly, the firm’s official tag line “where there is trash, there is cash”, has achieved a significant milestone.  The firm’s estimated worth is now three million pesos.

SETUP is a DOST’s nationwide strategy to encourage and assist micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) in implementing technological innovations and improvements in their operations to boost their productivity and competitiveness. — DOST-9 PR