Even though the majority of things work today through a smart phone and app, you wouldn’t think that recycling would head that way as well, but it has. For the past year there has been an app available in France called Eugene, which acts as a barcode scanner, that allows people to scan their barcode on their recyclable items and Eugene will advise them on if and how the product can be recycled, for example if it should be placed in the trash or recycle bin and then in which recycle bin, paper, glass etc. In order to provide people with an incentive as well to boost the amount of recycling people do the app rewards users with discount vouchers if certain amounts are recycled monthly. This to me is so amazing. The app is now available in UK and North America as well.
Do not be disheartened that we do not have the app available to us in South Africa yets as we are heading in the same direction. A major retailer in South Africa has recently launched what is called a recycling vending machine. Instead of receiving from the machine you provide the machine with recyclable goods, even glass. If you perhaps are not certain if an item is recyclable, no worries the machine scans the items bar code and will reject it if not reusable. Once again you are able to use your smart phone to connect to the machine and be notified of your recycling contribution via sms. As the majority of people are very concerned on the slacking in recycling in South Africa, we are sure most will be excited with the new ways in which companies are creatively assisting in the process. It always used to be quite a difficult task if you wanted to recycle as you would have to seek out recycling depots, but now it is a whole lot easier and convenient.
Another great one is a recycling company based in New York that have provided thousands of families with recycle bins that have a unique barcode imprinted on them so that when the families are actively recycling they are rewarded, and the way in which the company can keep track of this is when the dirt cart comes to empty the bins the truck automatically scans the barcode to keep a record of how many goods were placed in the bin. Families can earn up to $35 dollars a month back in vouchers for recycling their items instead of chucking them away.
With incorporating barcodes, scanners and smart phones into recycling it has peaked people’s attention and the aim is to keep coming up with motivational ways to keep recycling as an important role in people’s everyday lives. Let us all get excited and join in recycling with barcodes and scanners and keep our planet clean.