Since Apple introduced the first ‘smartphone’ in history in 2007, ‘smart’ technology has been steadily introduced into virtually every corner and sector of society. And it is the use of this technology that advocates RECICLOS, the recycling + rewards initiative that the Ecoembes organization is implanting in Spain
SDR, Recycling via mobile
Whether you recycle or not, surely the idea you have is to divide the waste that the daily consumption of human beings leaves according to categories -paper, plastic, etc-, and then deposit them in their corresponding containers enabled for this purpose by the whole city. Devices such as mobile phones are not involved in this process, but this is precisely what Ecoembes has done: introduce the smartphone in the process of recycling beverage cans and plastic bottles.
In the words of its creators, RECICLOS is “the first Return and Reward System (SDR) in Spain that rewards the commitment of citizens to recycling and the environment […] of plastic beverage cans and bottles. Rewards and incentives designed to reward those who already recycle and to encourage those who still do not.
Like any other rewards program, RECICLOS allows you to earn points by complying with the recycling process and that those cans and plastic bottles of beverages that you have already finished do not end up in the yellow container without further ado. Once you have downloaded its free application for Android mobiles and iOS iPhone mobiles, the next step is to scan the barcode of said can or bottle.
Then you must look for a yellow container or a RECICLOS machine to recycle and deposit your empty cans and bottles. The last step is to scan the QR code that you will see on the RECICLOS container or machine to validate the process. And the next thing is that you will receive the RECICLOS points on your mobile.
And what can you do with those points? Well, you can choose to exchange them for measures to take care of the environment, such as participating in raffles to win public transport tickets, or even a bicycle. Or spend them on taking care of your community by supporting local social or environmental projects, donating to NGOs to improve your neighborhood or to help those who really need it.
RECICLOS is being successfully implemented in Spain, and the initiative is already bearing fruit. For example, in the municipality of Valls in Tarragona, Catalonia, its inhabitants have used the RECICLOS initiative to donate medical supplies for the prevention of Covid-19 within families at risk of exclusion. In Getafe, its neighbors help with RECICLOS to plant trees in areas near schools, to improve the quality of the air that children breathe. And in Seville, the RECICLOS initiative is helping the Food Bank on which the most vulnerable in the city depend.
It is important to know if RECICLOS has reached our town. A fact that we can know by consulting the service website.
‘Smart’ technology for recycling
One of the strengths of the RECICLOS initiative is the technological update that is being carried out regarding the recycling process of citizens. Ecoembes and The Circular Lab, the organization’s open innovation center. RECICLOS is incorporating technology into the yellow containers already installed on public roads so that citizens can recycle in them, as always, the cans and plastic bottles of beverages that they consume at home.
The SDR program is also installing recycling machines in other places, such as transport stations and shopping and entertainment centers. And even providing intelligent technology to the RECICLOS yellow containers themselves, which in areas such as Sant Boi de Llobregat have begun to mount a ring equipped with cutting-edge technology. Thus, they will be able to identify not only the containers, but also the frequency and places where they are recycled.
Do you dare to save the world can by can and bottle by bottle with the intelligent recycling of RECICLOS?