PETnology Handbook 2024


Australia launches recycling app ''Recycle Mate''

1:19 min Global themesDigitization
Canberra, Australia

The Morrison Government is calling on all tech-savvy waste warriors to help take the confusion out of recycling by downloading a free recycling app and training it to create Australia’s largest catalogue of products.

Minister for the Environment Sussan Ley said the app ‘Recycle Mate’ can already identify thousands of products and tell consumers which bin or where the product can be recycled, no matter where they live in Australia.

“This app is already smart, but like the rest of the recycling sector, we want to turbocharge it and make it smarter,” Minister Ley said.

“Recycle Mate uses cutting edge photo recognition and artificial intelligence technology to identify a product and determine the most suitable kerbside bin or disposal location for it.

“Every time a photo is uploaded to the app, it recognises more and gets smarter, meaning less confusion for users.

“The beauty of this app lies in its simplicity – anyone can use it – but ultimately the outcome will be less contamination of recyclable products in recycling bins, a larger volume of recoverable items heading to resource recovery centres and less waste in landfill.”

Assistant Minister for Waste Reduction and Member for Brisbane Trevor Evans said Brisbane City Council which acted as the pilot site for the app, helped remove some of the confusion that comes with recycling.

“When Australians get their recycling right, it helps us to recycle more, make valuable new products, boost jobs and local economies and protect the environment,” Assistant Minister Evans said.

Recycle Mate was developed by ACOR and environment-firm Adaptation with $2 million in funding through the Morrison Government’s Environment Restoration Fund.

CEO of ACOR Suzanne Toumbourou said: “We are now reaching out to all Australian local councils and relevant recycling stakeholders to join our national Recycle Mate collaboration and contribute by checking local data and uploading new information via our national recycling data hub.”

Managing Director of Adaptation, Lara Barclay said: “The interactive nature of Recycle Mate means the community is constantly telling us what they want to know about which is helping to continually build the intelligence of the app.”


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