Technology

Association’s Augmented Reality App Tries to Make Recycling Exciting

By / Aug 10, 2016 (startshere.ca screenshot)

The Canadian Beverage Container Recycling Association’s new app doesn’t allow you to collect Pokémon, but its idea—which predates the buzzy app—has the potential to ride the mobile game’s wave of success.

Think Pokémon Go, but for recycling. That’s exactly what one association did.

The Canadian Beverage Container Recycling Association (CBCRA) recently launched a mobile application to make recycling rewarding and more enjoyable.

The app, called Recycling Starts Here, is an augmented-reality application with which users have a chance to win prizes during a monthlong contest, aimed to get people out and about to take pride in recycling.

“The Recycling Starts Here contest app is part of our mission to find new and interesting ways to encourage Manitobans of all ages to recycle all their empty beverage containers,” Director of the CBCRA Ken Friesen said in a news release [PDF].

The nonprofit association, launched in 2010 to represent beverage-brand owners and distributors, is aiming to meet the Manitoban government’s mandated goal of recycling 75 percent of bottles and cans in the Canadian province. This app’s strategy to help meet that goal is to make recycling exciting.

Game On

Participants have to download the application onto their phones or tablets—either iOS or Android—and spot four special Recycle Everywhere bins in public locations in Manitoba’s capital city, Winnipeg.

“We want the app to be a fun and interactive way for Manitobans to be rewarded for recycling during the summer months,” Friesen said. The contest ends on September 30 this year.

Participants can win immediate prizes, such as autographed Winnipeg Blue Bombers jerseys, game tickets, duffel bags, and baseball hats. There’s also a five-night stay in a cabin at Falcon Trails Resort. Grand prizes include a trip for two to Churchill, Manitoba, valued at $3,000, along with activities while on the trip.

“Once users have found and interacted with these four bins, they’re automatically entered to win the grand prize, which is a trip for two to Churchill to see the Beluga Whales,” Communications Manager of CBCRA and Recycle Everywhere, Arielle Gurevich, said to Metro.

Augmented-Reality Innovation

Scanning away, users have to find the four branded bins in order to get a chance at winning the grand prize. Then, for tagging other unmarked recycling bins through the app, users can also nab instant prizes.

But is it a lot like Pokémon Go? Yes, with the augmented-reality technology enabling the mobile camera to show in-picture images of the real world through the application, it is.

But the CRCBA gets the kudos this time around. Gurevich told Metro that the association and Recycle Everywhere “came up with this app idea prior to Pokémon Go coming out.”

Patrick deHahn

Patrick deHahn is a contributor to Associations Now. More »

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