Recycling your trash just got easier thanks to a smartphone app that will send someone to your home to collect any household waste worth more than 1 yuan (US$0.158). The app was launched in Shenzhen on Monday, the Southern Metropolis Daily reported yesterday.
The Recycling Brother app, and its website, calculate the value of household waste automatically and connect the person who wants to throw something out with someone willing to collect the garbage. The person collecting the garbage is later paid by a company for recycling.
Yang Lei, the deputy director of the city’s urban management bureau, which manages the website and app, said he hopes the application will boost recycling in Shenzhen.
A similar system was launched in Wuhan and Tianjin in July this year.
“It’s convenient, like hailing a car on the Didi app,” said Jiang Haiting, a resident at the Meichen housing estate in Futian District.
Jiang needed to throw out his television that had stopped working after eight years. The Recycling Brother app said the TV was worth 52 yuan and helped schedule someone to pick it up.
“I have a strong awareness of environmental protection,” said Jiang, explaining he wanted the TV to be disposed of properly.
The rubbish collector who showed up at Jiang’s door said the television would be dealt with by the Green Eco-Manufacturer Co. (GEM), a firm licensed to process household waste.
The firm would, according to the collector, ship the television to a factory located in Jiangxi Province for disposal.
“We guarantee that the household waste will be dealt with by a certified green firm. It saves time for people throwing things out,” said Zhang Ningping, the strategic development director of environment industry at GEM. “We believe revenue will be great.”
Tan Jiangfeng had been collecting garbage in Bao’an District to make money when GEM offered him a job with the new app and website project.
Cooperating with the new recycling project increased the rubbish he collected three times over. “I’m really glad that our occupations finally get some attention and an organization was founded for it,” said Tan, who used to wear dirty clothes while picking trash for very little money. Tan said that he was getting more respect now. On Aug. 1 this year a regulation about recycling rubbish properly in Shenzhen came into effect, but it has been widely ignored and unenforced.