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How technology and incentives can help citizens recycle more and better

TheCircularLab has launched a pioneering technology initiative with the aim to increase public awareness of recycling in Spain: “Recycling 5.0“. A project that investigates new alternatives to mobilize citizens in recycling, using technology. Specifically, its purpose is to prove how technology can help citizens to recycle more and better, together with incentives. In other words, making our recycling habit “digital” and rewarding.

“Recycling 5.0” links directly to the United Nations definition of intelligent cities, being those that use technology as a tool to optimize the efficiency of the city and its economy, as long as it serves to improve citizens´ quality of life of and protect nature. In the end, innovation and technology are at the service of citizens, encouraging the simple, but important gesture to throw a package in the right container.

How does it work?

How does it work?

Citizens are increasingly using mobile phones and therefore Recycling 5.0 integrates mobile technology into its operation. Specifically, Recycling 5.0 connects the citizen with the yellow container through image recognition, a webapp and QR codes.

This initiative  has incorporated technology into containers and litter bins. Citizens can “connect” through their mobile phones with these infrastructures when recycling, and counting how many times they have recycled. In this way, citizens will be able  to earn rewards and then redeem them for sustainable incentives.

First pilot project: “RECICLOS”, in Catalonia

The first Recycling 5.0 pilot is already being tested in Catalonia. It was presented last April and launched by Ecoembes in collaboration with the « Generalitat de Catalunya. »

About the RECICLOS program: this technological initiative encourages recycling of cans and bottles in the yellow container, the one we use the most in our daily lives. RECICLOS is the first international experience that proves the management of waste and recycling of the future.

More information

First pilot project: “RECICLOS”, in Catalonia