CLAUDIA WRIGHT & BRODY WHITEMAN
Councils of southern Perth have reported positive changes in attitudes towards recycling since the launch of a waste education app last year.
Recycle Right, created by the Southern Metropolitan Regional Council, is Western Australia’s first app dedicated to waste and recycling in WA.
Creator of the app, and SMRC employee, Sarah Dimmock said the app aimed to revolutionise waste education in Western Australia.
“We get about 60 to 100 downloads a month,” she said.
“You can find out things such as how to use your leftovers, where your nearest recycling centres are and how to dispose of batteries and household appliances properly.”
Features of Recycle Right include a ‘which bin’ mode that provides a searchable list of household waste and advises users of the appropriate bin to use, ‘hints and tips’ on how to reduce packaging and food waste, and a ‘take part’ section which provides users with opportunities to be active in community recycling programs.
“An advantage of the app is you can see what is allowed in your bin, specifically because it’s different in every council,” Ms Dimmock said.
SMRC spokeswoman Taryn Davis said the app was created after many households were still throwing ordinary rubbish in the recycling bin.
“It was happening all the time,” she said.
“People throw away batteries, soiled nappies and even broken appliances such as microwaves in the recycling.”
According to Ms Davis, the City of Cockburn is the most involved with Recycle Right.
“They have a billboard for it, so I think that has prompted more downloads than the other councils,” she said.
Former sustainability officer at the City of Cockburn Hana Jestribek said it was too early to tell if the app had improved recycling rates but the attitude of Cockburn council members had changed.
“Recycle Right has seen a positive change in people’s attitudes towards recycling, especially children,” she said.
Cockburn Councillor Steven Portelli agrees.
“The app has had an impact on the way Cockburn citizens think about disposing goods,” he said.
“There’s always gonna be the few scumbags who choose not to, but yeah, the majority are definitely behind it.”
National Recycling Week is November 10-16.