Start a Junkshop. Garbage is Big Business.

Garbage may be a dirty business to some, but for the many people (and communities) who have earned from it, it is big business. The Recyclables’ Collection Event (of the Earthday Network Philippines, the Philippine Business for the Environment, DENR, and many other organizations) has collected over three milion — P3,143,345.00 worth of recyclables (monetary equivalent) to be exact, from garbage.

Three million is a big amount of money, and though the RCE group is in it for advocacy, you too, can do it, and earn.

How? Start a junkshop.

 photo junkshop_zps2pnv8byi.jpg

Here’s what you might need:

1. A list of recyclers.. or make connections at the Waste Markets in malls

You need to get a list of recyclers since they will be the ones to buy the junk and scraps you would accumulate. Without these buyers, you might end up becoming more like an open dumpsite, rather than a Materials Recovery Facility. You might want to check here for the list. For waste markets schedule, check the mall websites.

Almost all malls now have their own “Waste Market” fairs. SM has a “Trash to Cash” Program which they started in 2007, and which are now held simultaneously in all its malls every first Fridays and Saturdays of the month.  Ayala does it every Friday at their mall parking lots.

What the Waste Market Offers (SM Malls)


  • scrap paper and cardboard for bathroomtissue, table napkins, bond paper, notebook
  • empty ink and toner cartridge for quality remanufactured ones
  • plastic bottles and plastic scraps for plastic household items like hangers, basins, and pails
  • used lead batteries (from cars, UPS/ voltage regulators), for chack-up coupons


  • used PET bottles (containers of softdrinks and mineral water bottles), aluminum, tin cans, scrap paper, cartons, used ink/toner cartridges, PC monitors, junk electrical appliance, used lead acid batteries (from cars, UPS/voltage regulators, busted rechargeable lamps)

2. A weighing scale

This is probably the most important “gadget” a junkshop operator has, since your income will be dependent on the “kilos” — how much everything weighs. Every kilo has a price depending on the current market value of recyclables. Of course, aside from the calculator where you would compute your earnings.

3. Water/Cleaning Materials

You definitely need to “clean” — scrub and empty bottles and cans, before you store them so your junk shop would not get infested with flies and roaches.

4. An open space

This would be your Materials Recovery Facility where you would have to segregate garbage. If you have no idea on segregation, download this segregation poster guide by the United Nations Development Programme.

5. A simple kariton, an ecobike, or a truck

This is necessary especially if you will be buying waste in bulk. If you are trying to go big time, you would need a truck. This is also necessary if you do not have an open space since you would just have to go from being a junk “shop” to becoming a junk “system” — in the environment sector parlance, this means from operating a “Materials Recovery Facility (MRF)” to implementing a “Materials Recovery System (MRS)”.

With an MRS, you wouldnt be needing an open space. You would just be like a “transporter” of wastes — collecting and weighing segregated wastes from neighborhoods, and then heading to the recyclers to exchange everything you would have collected to cash.

By the way, you could also trade your collected garbage for cash at the waste markets.

In a nutshell: collect-segregate-transport-earn



  • Hannah Victoria Loresca Reply

    This is a great blog! In our school, there is this big (as in BIG like 10 students could fit in) “cage” where we put all our empty bottles. I think our school sells the empty bottles every week to a particular junk shop. Also, we do a program every September of the year. This program is all about making recycled materials into a beautiful dress which, in every sections, there is a representative that will wear it. I think, the aim of this program is to make us, the students, realize that not all garbage are garbage. They can still be useful just like what’s all about in this blog! As a student, I appreciate your encouragement in saving our environment from destruction and make our world a better home.

    • Iva Maurin
      Iva Maurin Reply

      Thank you for your kind words, Hannah! I assume you are from Miriam College cause I know the school has this spherical cage for empty bottles. :)

  • Gilbert Reply

    It seems a viable business, My family have some vacant space where I can temporarily put the junk I will collect…the capital seems reasonable and not that expensive…

  • Carl Reply

    Great blog post that goes into great detail. Have shared this on my twitter account.

  • Randy Reply

    Gus2 ko pong magput up ng junk shop business s quezon province, gus2 ko po mlaman kung paano sisimulan. San po ko ung bbili s kin at paano ko po mlaman ung price s market. san po matulungan nyo ako. my phone no is: 09498789133

    • admin
      admin Reply

      I-contact niyo po ang National Solid Waste Management Commission-Secretariat at ask po ninyo ang mga recyclers list sa region ninyo. Ito po ang number nila.

      Telefax: 920-2252
      Email: /

  • MPM Reply

    looking for used PET bottles
    minimum volume = 100kg
    Valenzuela City 09278301566

  • mike Reply

    ask lng po….s scrap ng mga ECOZONE(PEZA) totoo po b n bidding ang pag dispose nila or palakasan system lng po dun….kc po complete n papel ko pero kng palakasan system di rin ako mananalo s bidding…any comment and opinion pls….tnx po

  • gp
    gp Reply

    Hi Harve,

    Here’s info you might want to check:

    The operation of junkshops is primarily under the control of the lgus by virtue of republic act 7160, commonly known as the local government code. The issuance of permits and licenses is vested with the business
    permits and licensing office (bplo) of every municipality and city.

    During the application process for a business permit, the bplo requires the proponent or owner to sign an undertaking that: the junkshop operation shall not be the subject of complaints in the neighbourhood, that it is not obstructive to traffic flow, that it shall not encroach the right of way, and shall have good sanitation. The proponent must secure a locational or site clearance order from the local planning office. The planning office checks for compliance with the land use plan or with the zoning ordinance. The swmu is not involved in the processing of permits that should look into other requirements such as storage capacities, facilities, operational procedures, safety, environmental impacts, and others.

    Source: ADB TA 3848 PHI: Metro Manila Solid Waste Management Project

    You may download the whole Junk Shop study here:

    Hope this helps :)

  • harve Reply

    Good morning,
    thank you Ms for all good job your doing , may i ask you please if i have to register that to the government? and do i have to bay tax for it?
    Kindly if you can guide me for what to do in processing of registration please . thank you so much its greet information keep up god bless you .

  • birchtree Reply

    Hi ms. evea! Dumadalaw lang :) Dami pa ring interested sa junkshop biz ah. Parang gusto ko ulit mag-put up nito ^_^

  • gp
    gp Reply

    The National Solid Waste Management Commission is probably the best resource for all questions — they have a list of technology, recyclers, even best practices to help inspire you as you go around helping manage waste. You may contact them at 9202252. :)

  • Conger Reply

    Your impressive and unique content amazed me. You have written perfect piece.

  • aizasedaria Reply

    magkno po ang special price ng aluminum frame ksi po meron akong more or less 3tons.
    san po mkreply kau kaagad..slamt po..

  • charisma Reply

    hi…ako din gusto ko mag tayo ng junk shop,,sana matulungan nyo rin ako..i need ur advice…pls help me…thanks

  • alan Reply

    magkano po ba ang capital to start up a junk business?next year mag try po ako sa ganitong business..yung makukuha ko sa service award ko sa work yun ang ipampupuhunan ko at sana nga matupad at umunlad..napakahirap kasi ang malayo s pamilya…

  • clint Reply

    is there any training course for junk shop business?

  • colbahrn Reply

    Anong agency ang kailangan nating lapitan pag magtayo tayo ng junk shop at anong tulong ang kailangan natin sa kanila.

  • jcl Reply

    anu anu b ung mga klase ng mga plastic n pwede ibenta??en sa mga cans..pnu b i classify ung mga un?

  • Joy Reply

    I am working abroad. We want to start a junk shop busines in Davao City. My husband is in the Philippines right now. Please give some inputs to start.

  • gp
    gp Reply

    kuya tinext na kita. pinsan mo to. nyahaha. :p

  • roland Reply

    to : gp,

    thanks for the reply but do you think that the economy has relevance in the issue of prices of junks?
    i have been studying this business for several months already cause i’m planing to set up the same but i am quite disappointed this month (sept – oct.) it bothers me the way they keep on going down. if you owned this tupe of buss do you really need to be a member of Linis Ganda in different municipality? would they be able to help somebody in terms of client and marketing?
    thanks and god bless.

  • gp
    gp Reply

    it’s law of supply and demand. If there are more junks being sold in the market, of course, prices would go low.

  • roland Reply

    why the prices of junks are keep on going down? like metal, plastic and almost everything of them. Is there anyone who could give a feedback on this matter.

  • gp
    gp Reply

    Ms. Cynthia and Kuya Jebie, you could interact with junksho entrepreneurs at this link:

    They’re all very nice and willing to help :) The thread has everything you need to know in starting a junkshop business. They also have a list of suppliers.

    Kuya Jebie, regarding junk art, i have seen an exhibit of it at Museo Pambata, i just cant recall the name of the artist. You could try calling them to ask who the artist was. Contact number is (632) 523.1797 to 98, 536-0595
    (look for Curt, he’s an artist too.. if he’s no there, ask for Liza) :)

  • Jose Jebie Barrios Reply

    I want to start a Junk Shop and a Junk Art at the same time.It was really my passion to create artworks and at the same time have business.I can invest initially P150,000.I dont know how to start? Should I need a partner? I want the junkshop to be versatile,with welding machine etc., shop at the same time. I would appreciate it if somebody who have a passion like mine will help.I am gifted in concept but a poor implementor. Thanks—

  • cynthia Reply

    pls help me put up a junk shop..whether in tarlac or pampanga.i appreciate your effort in helping new entrepreneurs like me.more power and godspeed!

  • gp
    gp Reply

    abet, sige po kuya. Will be glad to have it featured here.

  • abet Reply

    Can i post some of our pictures sa Waste Market Fair? Actually, I’m previously connected sa isang NGO and we started our junk shop business because of the Ecological Solid Waste Management law na pinag aralan namin sa NGO. It’s really true that there is money in waste/junk. I’ll send you a profile of our shop later. Thanks a lot!!

  • gp
    gp Reply


    malamang po ay representative-donor siya ng mga foreign-assisted projects. marami kasing mga international organizations na nagooffer ng loans, or tumutulong sa atin para maayos ang environment. Baka po from UNDP siya. cute nga din siya 😀


    Sir, salamat po. If you have a background info about your organization, and of course, your involvement sa mga Waste Market in SM Cebu, id be happy to post it here sa greenphils. Para po mas maraming gumaya sa inyo, at mas maraming makaalam na may bumibili po pala talaga ng mga waste.

  • abet Reply

    hi! It’s good to know may ganitong website. Just like to inform you that our shop here in Cebu (TSL Enterprises) have been a part of SM’s Cebu’s Waste Market Fair since it started last year. Now, it’s already on its 2nd year and renamed “Waste to Cash”.

    Hope marami pa ang mag recycle ng kanilang waste.

  • birchtree Reply

    hi ms. evea! wow! nice post :) ang japorms naman ng peddler at mukhang cute! hihihi 😉

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