San Jose launches 'Cash for Trash' cleanup incentive program for homeless residents

ByABC7 News Staff KGO logo
Friday, November 13, 2020
SJ starts 'Cash for Trash' incentive program for homeless
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The City of San Jose has launched a 'Cash for Trash' community cleanup incentive program for local homeless residents. Participants will receive money on reloadable debit cards in exchange for collecting bags of trash.

SAN JOSE, Calif. (KGO) -- The City of San Jose hopes the launch of a new community cleanup incentive program will reduce some of the blight around local homeless encampments.

The pilot program is called "Cash for Trash," and has been created in collaboration with the BeautifySJ initiative and Mastercard.

RELATED: Trash cleanup underway in South San Jose after months of illegal dumping

The plan incentivizes homeless residents to pick up trash at encampments by providing them with garbage bags and a reloadable Mastercard City Key debit card.

For every bag of trash participants pick up and bring to program officials, the City of San Jose will add $4 to their debit card.

Homeless residents will be able to earn up to $20 dollars per day, which can be used to pay for essential items.

RELATED: Gov. Newsom announces $200M in funding for Homekey project to help California's homeless

The cards are designed to be maintenance-free, with minor restrictions on alcohol and tobacco expenses.

After a delayed launch in February due to COVID-19, San Jose officials say Cash for Trash will now take place at 40 locations throughout the city.

San Jose mayor Sam Liccardo explains city government has many reasons for the program to move forward with haste.

"To be able to provide a pathway for our homeless residents, our neighbors, to be part of the solution," Liccardo says, "To be able to help us clean the community and beautify our city in a way that makes us all collectively proud."