Provide social incentives

Published: 14 June 2021
Last edited: 14 June 2021

The Garbage Medical Insurance program is a micro health insurance program that uses garbage as a financial resource. With this program, the community and unensured poor slum dwellers are able to pay for health cover, drugs, and other clinical services by using garbage as payment to an insurance scheme. This, in turn, improves their access to medical treatment and the quality of public health programs with respect to promotive, preventive, curative, and rehabilitative well-being mainly targeting slum children below 5 years and expectant women. It further offers the community an incentive to start organized waste management and waste entrepreneurship system from the household level so as to benefit from continual health insurance.


Alliance and partnership development
Sustainable financing
Sustainable livelihoods
Scale of implementation
Phase of solution

Enabling factors

What really enabled us was the constant lack of plastic waste supplies from households benefiting from our medical insurance scheme. They themselves said there was a challenge that other people were coming to buy plastics so they had to sell. This made the collection of plastic waste too costly because every time we go to collect our garbage from the families we provide insurance we don't get it. The increase in cost was due to the hiring of a car to carry the garbage. 

Lessons learned

At first, we thought that people were in need of medical insurance and the challenge was getting money to pay for it. So we knew that once we provide insurance we have solved health problems but still people wanted insurance and cash money which is difficult for the company given the high cost of medical insurance. We offered medical insurance at the family level in exchange for plastic waste. Because people already had insurance and wanted cash money they were selling plastics to other people and we could not get our plastic supplies on time. In order to overcome these challenges, we pay for any extra amount exceeding the monthly rate so as to make one earns some money. The demand is too high, if there are people who can venture into that we would appreciate it.