Forget to put out your garbage and recycling? Dallas Sanitation Services now has an app for that.
The agency announced the launch of a free collection reminder app that features a calendar of municipal waste pickups and can send weekly automatic reminders via email, tweet, voicemail or text.
Users will also be alerted to schedule changes due to weather, holidays or events, and can opt in to notifications about seasonal campaigns such as electronics recycling, Christmas tree pickup, and batteries, oil, paint, and antifreeze collection. There’s info on which items are recyclable and compostable too.
“City of Dallas residents recycle over 55,000 tons of material a year. It’s now even easier to learn about solid waste management in our community with our new online tools and mobile app,” Murray Myers, manager of Dallas’s Zero Waste initiative, said in a statement. “If you’re always on the go, this is a great way to stay up to date on your garbage, recycling and bulk collection schedule.”
The app won’t replace printed collection calendars, but the city hopes it will cut down on call volumes to the agency and improve response times. With it, Dallas joins the ranks of tech-savvy sanitation departments like San Antonio, Fort Worth, Boston and Denver, which all offer their own waste collection reminder apps. These technologies can reduce fees for residents while increasing the efficacy of municipal trash pickup — particularly if access to sorting information encourages more people to recycle.
New York City has even tried to make it fun. The city has no collection reminder app, but a quirky Bureau of Waste Prevention, Reuse and Recycling app turns sorting waste into an animated game.
Dallas passed a Zero Waste plan in 2013, with an early target of 40 percent of waste going to recycling by 2020.
Jen Kinney is a freelance writer and documentary photographer. Her work has also appeared in Philadelphia Magazine, High Country News online, and the Anchorage Press. She is currently a student of radio production at the Salt Institute of Documentary Studies. See her work at jakinney.com.