News / Ottawa

City releases garbage notification app

New app to help remind residents when, and what, to take out to the curb.

The city has had lower rates of participation in its green- and blue-bin programs than it would like in recent years.

Emma Jackson / Metro Order this photo

The city has had lower rates of participation in its green- and blue-bin programs than it would like in recent years.

After members of council discussed ways to get more people to use the city’s green- and blue-bin programs last week, the city has released a new app for all your garbage and recycling collection questions.

“Really, it comes down to: this is the one-stop-shop,” said Coun. David Chernushenko, who chairs the city’s Environment and Climate Protection Committee. “Every question you might have, you should be able to find the answer with this app.”

The app, which goes by the descriptive (if not especially splashy) name ‘Ottawa Collection Calendar’ was quietly launched last week. The timing was good, said Chernushenko, given the discussion taking place about people not using the programs. He said it was not the case that the city rushed the app out after the issue was raised in committee.

The city has had a reminder service, operated by a company called Recollect, for a number of years, but last week the environment committee heard that only 66,000 out of about 250,000 households had signed up for the service. Chernushenko hopes an app will make it easier for people who want to use the programs properly, but have a tendency to miss the pick-up dates.

“One of the obstacles,” said Chernushenko, “is helping [people] with ‘what date is my pickup? When is it coming?’”

One of the other features of the app is that it builds in the city’s waste explorer tool, which can tell you what is and is not allowed to be put in each bin. That will help, said Chernushenko, when “you’re sitting around on a Sunday morning looking at the stuff you need to deal with. [...] We run into this problem, like: ‘does the city accept styrofoam?’”

The app is available for both Android and iOS users, and comes at no cost.

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