Waste app launched

TERRI RUSSELL
Last updated 11:07 20/12/2012
my waste app
TERRI RUSSELL/Fairfax NZ
Clutha residents now have access to a new mobile phone application, my waste, to find out more about rubbish and recycling in their area.

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New Zealand's first "my waste" mobile phone application was launched in Clutha this week but Southlanders can expect to wait a bit longer for theirs, with the region's councils wanting to weigh up the benefits before introducing something similar.

The Clutha District Council has introduced the app after spending $2300 to sign up for a year.

The cost was funded through the Ministry for the Environment's Waste Disposal Levy.

The application, which is being used in Canada and the United States, allows mobile phone users to find out their bin collection times, operating hours, landfill and transfer station fees and locations, as well as handy waste tips.

Clutha District Council communications office Jamie Shaw said more people were using smartphones, the application was free to download, and information could be easily accessed while out and about.

Invercargill City Council senior waste officer Donna Peterson said WasteNet Southland, a joint service for Invercargill City Council, Southland District Council and Gore District Council, would not implement the application until it was known how many people were likely to use it, and statistics were released.

WasteNet has had a comprehensive website for about two years that includes a "my collection day" tool which allows residents to enter their address and find out when to put their bins out, or print their collection calendar, she said.

Queenstown Lakes District Council solid waste manager Stefan Borowy said they did not have plans to introduce a mobile application, but it sounded like a good idea.

The council would have to weigh up the benefits and the costs of writing up an application, he said.

They already had an "extensive" online service, with information on rubbish, recycling, collection days and waste minimisation, he said.

Central Otago District Council waste minimisation officer Sophie Mander said the council was planning a "significant overhaul" of its website and waste information.

A waste mobile application could be considered, but not one resident had requested one, she said.

An Environment Ministry spokesman said they allocated 50 per cent of the Waste Disposal Levy to territorial authorities, which must be spent on waste minimisation.

From January 2011 to October this year, about $3 million was distributed to territorial authorities nationwide, including $1.5m to Otago, and $800,000 to Southland. Clutha District Council will continue to assess the number of downloads and the value of the application.

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