Recycling is a simple way that everyone can reduce their overall impact on the environment. It helps to reduce demand for virgin materials and involves making use of what is already in existence. However, recycling can also be a complex activity particularly when we get past commonly known recyclables such as plastic bottles, glass jars, aluminium cans and cardboard, to items made from mixed materials such as yard waste or unusual items such as easter egg foil wrappers and hairspray.
Thankfully, some innovative developers are making our lives a lot easier by developing apps that help us sort through what can and can’t be recycled, composted and locations of recycling facilities. If you have a smartphone, make sure to download some of these recycling mobile apps, and the best part is, they’re free!
1. Recycle Nation (United States)
RecycleNation (previously known as 1800recycling) is a location-based mobile app designed to improve recycling knowledge and overall recycling rates across the United States. RecycleNation has one of the most comprehensive recycling databases in the world, allowing users to choose from 15 categories that list more than 2,500 items helping to determine what they can and cannot recycle.
RecycleNation also provides users with a map of nearby recycling locations for items such as clothing and electronics and even provides directions, hours of operation, contact information and much more. It also users offers advice and tips around what can and cannot be recycled, has a news section to keep users up-to-date with the latest in environmental news, and even allows people to track their environmental impact through the ‘My Recycling Story’ feature.
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2. iRecycle (United States)
The iRecycle mobile application created by Earth 911 has one of the largest single recycling databases in the world. It has a well-designed search directory that allows users to look up products of all types, from automotive to household items, and provides relevant information regarding the drop-off point such as location address, phone number and opening hours. This recycling app helps residents of the United States recycle over 350 materials at thousands of locations across the country. The iRecycle app also offers news section that provides the latest information with regards to the waste and recycling sectors and also shares recycling tips that users can forward on to family, friends and social networks.
3. RecycleSmart (Australia)
The RecycleSmart mobile app was built in partnership with Planet Ark and is Australia’s most comprehensive recycling mobile app. It lets users select their council from a full list of over 500 Australian councils. By setting location, it enables them to find the nearest recycling drop-off spots and special waste facilities nearest them. The app has a user-friendly search functionality that allows easy searching for items where users can type the item in or browse through the main categories on the home page to learn whether an item is recyclable and compostable. The app also has reporting capabilities so users can report recycling issues in their region.
4. My-waste® (Worldwide)
The My-waste mobile recycling app works with municipalities across the globe to deliver up-to-date waste and recycling information to residents. Users can sign up and enter their postcode to receive reminders about bin collection dates within their region, set reminders for waste and recycling collections and even search the ‘What Goes Where’ database if you’re unsure what you can recycle. It also provides information on waste disposal and recycling drop-off points closest to the user. The app also works with digital assistants such as Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa. Just simply ask what to do with certain items and you will get a quick response.
Unfortunately, full capabilities are not available to all users as it depends on whether you’re municipality is participating (doesn’t seem to be available in my corner of Australia). A quick search on Google shows that there are many municipalities in the United States and Canada participating in the My-waste® app community.
5. Recycle for Greater Manchester (United Kingdom)
This mobile app helps residents in the Greater Manchester region manage their waste and recycling, sends reminders for bin collection and provides details on nearest recycling centres and drop-off points. It also has an A-Z guide to waste and recycling to help residents understand what they can and cannot do with each item. This app is recommended for people residing within the following municipalities: Bolton, Bury, Manchester, Rochdale, Salford, Stockport, Tameside and Trafford. For more information visit recycleforgreatermanchester.com.
6. Recycle Right (Western Australia)
The Recycle Right mobile app created by Southern Metropolitan Regional Council was developed for residents of Western Australia with the aim of helping to improve their recycling knowledge and understand which items go in which bins to improve state-wide recycling rates. Users are able to choose their local council, find the nearest recycling drop-off locations for items such as car batteries, and has an A-Z materials recycling guide. The app also features helpful advice and categories such as ‘Handy Tips’ which provides information on how to compost, create worm farms and how to use real nappies. It also has a section entitled ‘Leftover Recipes’ filled with a variety of recipes that help users reduce food waste.
7. Brisbane Bin and Recycling (Australia)
This mobile app is the Brisbane City Council’s official bin and recycling app. It helps users keep track of bin collection days and helps Brisbane residents recycle, providing an alphabetical list of materials, and information on how to properly dispose of, recycle or compost. It also provides a list of recycling centres and drop-off locations, including maps and directions.
8. Fat Llama (US and UK)
While technically not an app, we love this concept and need to include because it goes beyond a sharing economy – to a sharing society and promotes it in a way that we haven’t seen before – and we’ve been around a while!
Fat Llama‘s peer-to-peer rental platform works similar to Airbnb, except instead of connecting people through rooms and homes, they connect people who have spare stuff with people who want to use it (for example, film equipment, drones, motorhomes, scooters etc)
The environmental benefits of borrowing equipment instead of buying have been a well-documented ‘pro’ of the sharing economy. Fat Llama users are also collectively saving $12 million per month in non-purchases. Some lenders are earning up to $10,000 a month by renting out their items and borrowers are getting low-cost access to otherwise cost-prohibitive goods. Win-win all around.
We’ve partnered with Fat Llama to try and grow their ‘herd’ (lol) so if you’re going to sign up to this super eco-cool platform, use our link here and you’ll get £25/$25 free credit on sign up, and we get £25/$25 credit so that we can keep EWP operating!
For more info, visit their website.
What’s your go-to recycling app? Feel free to share with the community so we can all take a look!
Loved this post? Keen to tackle food waste? Check out these six free mobile apps that help you reduce food waste here.