South Norfolk launches bin collection app to increase recycling

South Norfolk council has launched a bin collection reminder app and is considering expanding what is collected at the kerbside, in a bid to increase recycling rates.

The council hopes the app will 'more than pay for itself' through cutting contamination

The council said it launched the bin collection app, called ReCollect, from 24 October, at a cost of £17,000. The app will aim to help residents stay informed about bin collections and recycling information specific to their address.

The app is set to display the bin collection days as well as notify residents of updates or disruptions with bin collections. The council noted that it will also provide information on what can and cannot be recycled in a bid to increase the area’s recycling rate to 60% by 2025 as per target.

The council said that to reach this, both South Norfolk and Broadland councils are taking steps to make recycling information quicker and easier to access. Broadland will see the app launched later this year.

Improved service

South Norfolk Council’s Cabinet member, Graham Minshull, said that “the app is an off the shelf product from the same company than designed our existing back office systems”. He outlined that it cost £17,000, or less than 28p per household. “This will be more than covered by the savings from less contamination, fewer return trips to pick up missed bins and savings in printing costs of 60,000 bin calendars and recycling leaflets,” he added.

In terms of resident engagement, Cllr Minshull explained that the app has been “very popular” and the council’s had a lot of good feedback. He noted: “The app improves the service for our residents, and it will even send alerts reminding you to put your bin out, and which one it is.”

He added that the app will help stop contaminated loads and consequently, lorries rejected at the recycling centre, saving the council’s taxpayers money.

Electronic waste

As part of efforts to increase its recycling rate, the council also resolved reintroduce WEEE events this autumn. It also said that it will introduce an electric van, part funded by recycling service Podback, which will enable household collections of batteries, electrical items and coffee pods for recycling.

Cllr Minshull reasoned that a comprehensive kerbside collection was currently not viable due to lack of space at the depot but this will be reconsidered once the depot has been relocated.

The collection service was recently introduced in Broadland district council, with which South Norfolk shares an officer team. Additionally, the electronic waste reuse and recycling facility within Norfolk would allow for local reuse and recycling of this waste, it was pointed out by another councillor.

Collections in the area are carried out be Veolia, under a contract renewed for 10 years in April 2022.

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