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Apps Promote Recycling

Apps are an important tool to promote better recycling.

Smartphones have transformed the way we live our lives so it is imperative we adapt the latest technologies to make it easier to engage  citizens and solve problems including making zero waste solutions more accessible.

Communities across Canada from Halifax to Victoria are offering free apps to help residents manage their recycling and disposal needs. The apps come in different forms, including calendars and reminders for curbside collection and detailed maps that outline depots that take specific items such as paint, electronics or compact-fluorescent light bulbs. Winnipeg’s MY WASTE mobile app, as well as collection days and items recycled, offers instruction on how to recycle and what not to include in blue bins.

Provincial recycling organizations also offer informative apps. The Recycling Council of BC in partnership with the Society Promoting Environmental Conservation (SPEC), the free app is a quick and simple tool that helps users find over 1,000 drop-off locations and recycling options for over 70 materials or products across BC. BC Recyclepedia App is available for both iPhones Androids, provides users a list of the 10 nearest locations to recycle your item, based on the phones location, as well as a Google map with directions.

EPR stewardship programs are also using apps to educate the public about their programs. Multi-Material BC (MMBC) is announcing its partnership with ReCollect, a BC-based waste collection mobile application developer, to create a new MMBC mobile application (app) for residents in areas serviced by MMBC’s packaging and printed paper recycling program.

Surveys of Canadian cell phone usage report a growing reliance on smart phones as the majority of users “do not leave home without it” and use the phone at least two hours a day. More than one in five Canadian households uses cell phones as their sole telephone service.

Smartphones are allowing Canadians to have information at their finger tips anywhere and at any time. According to Statistics Canada, 84% of household owned at least one cell phone. Canada is the fourth heaviest mobile data users in the world and mobile data traffic is expected to grow by 600% from 2015 to 2020(Cisco, VNI Mobile Forecast Highlights, 2015-2020).

The average smartphone user has 30 apps installed on their device and they have used  12 apps  on their smartphones in the past month.

People are using mobile to change all aspects of their life, whether it’s their job, travel, shopping, the way they communicate with others, and specifically trying to understand the world around them; recycling apps can help.