High hopes bin app will push recycling rates to 75%

A smartphone wheelie bin application to notify householders of changes in waste collection services will be launched by two of England's top performing recycling councils this summer.

The Binfo app, which will go live in time for the Jubilee weekend on 2-5 June, will be available for Android and iPhone users and has been designed to alert residents to new recycling services as well as service changes.

South Oxfordshire and Vale of White Horse district councils, which share a joint waste contract with Biffa, currently use a SMS service that local residents can sign up for.

“There’s quite a lot of cost to that because we’ve got about 12,000 residents signed up to that text service,” says strategic director for both councils, Matt Prosser.

“It costs every time you send a text whereas the app is far more cost effective. We’re just waiting for Apple Appstore authority so that we can go live.”

Residents input their postcode and then select their home address from a list or use the GPS location feature when they’re at home and Binfo will tell them when the next waste collection will be. The app also automatically notifies users when there are alterations to the service, so they don’t miss a collection.

“If there are any disruptions to the service, we can push the message out and they can go straight through the app to check what’s happening,” explains Prosser.

Binfo will also be used to promote new recycling services. With an annual joint recycling rate of just under 70%, the two councils have the second best recycling record in England. It is hoped the bin app will enable the local authorities to improve services further.

“We hope it will help us with some of the hard yards to get over the 70% mark on a constant basis and push through to the 75% figure,” says Prosser.

LAWR will be profiling the two councils in its July issue.

Nick Warburton

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