The city has a new app called Waste Wise that has answers to all those garbage and recycling questions about what goes where and in which bag? It’s an effort to cut down on wrong moves, which have led to problems at the city’s waste management facility.
Does it go in the blue bag? Or the garbage? Or should it be taken to the eco-station? This app has a game that answers those questions.
“Pizza boxes. People are confused where that goes,” confirmed Erika Dressler, the city’s education coordinator for waste management.
“That goes into the recycling.”
“We’re able to handle them in the recycling as long as they’re not absolutely covered in cheese and grease but we can definitely handle some spots of grease in those pizza boxes. We do ask that residents make sure you remove the liner in a pizza box.”
“Another one is shredded paper. That is one that we really want residents to put that into the garbage simply because it causes a lot of harm to our machinery in the recycling sorting facility. So it makes it harder to recycle the right stuff.”
Soon when the Enerchem bio-fuels plant is fully up and running some changes will be in the works. That includes using Styrofoam to feed that beast. “Enerchem tells us that they’re still in their commissioning stage, but they have been doing a lot of testing,” Dressler said. Until then, Styrofoam is garbage, not for the blue bag.
The city bought the app, for $30,000 a year. It’s been customized for Edmonton but it has been used in over 100 municipalities in Canada including Strathcona County, Calgary and Lethbridge.
Waste Wise has been given a thumbs up from Coun. Andrew Knack who always has an opinion on all things techy.
“As somebody who is not been too kind in speaking about the rest of our app technology, this one was an example of how we should be doing apps. That’s the way we should be looking at that. Otherwise we either find a partner like we have done recently with transit and the transit app, or in this case find something that’s been successful in other cities that’s a significantly lower cost than us building one from scratch.”
It launched Oct. 3. More than 2,000 have downloaded it Dressler said and it has more than 17,000 items viewed, It’s gotten a 4.5 out of 5 rating in the iTunes store.
The city expects a big push again around Christmas because Christmas lights in the blue bag are a big no-no. They do a real number on the conveyor belts at the waste management centre, forcing the facility to shut down when they get tangled.