The Malta Independent 18 August 2019, Sunday

iBiNs web app increases recycling and reduces traffic emissions

Thursday, 23 May 2019, 11:59 Last update: about 4 months ago

The public has a new web app to help improve the environment.  

This was announced at Santa Lucija by GreenPak's CEO, Ing. Mario Schembri and Vodafone Malta's director of Enterprise and Business Development Kenneth Spiteri, in the presence of MEP Miriam Dalli.

The recently installed iBiNs across Malta and Gozo have doubled the collection of plastic waste. iBiNs, the smart recycling bins that read the content of waste disposed inside them, have gained quick public acceptance with a noted dramatic increase in the collection of recyclable paper, glass, metal and plastics when compared with the same quarter last year. Concurrently, the new system has led to a 23% reduction of trips by collection trucks, reducing vehicle emissions in the process.

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Earlier, GreenPak and Vodafone announced the release to the public of a web app that points you to the nearest available iBiNs. In case the closest one to you happens to be full, the app automatically directs you to the nearest available iBiNs. The web app is found at ibins.greenpak.com.mt with no download necessary. The app works on any mobile device such as smartphones, tablets, portable computers and others. Since early January, the app has been tried and tested among a closed group of 300 persons throughout the islands.

As from this year, iBiNs have replaced all the previous recycling skips in 42 localities served by GreenPak. Equipped with smart technology, iBiNs enable citizens to recycle 24/7 in a  simpler and more convenient way, while doing away with the unsightly overflowing of recycling bins.

Ing. Schembri explained: "On selecting the colour-coded image of the iBiN, the app informs you whether an iBiN has free space for your recyclables. If the bin is full, the app guides you to the nearest available iBiN via a Google Map interface. User feedback from the trial period has been positive and we believe that people will be finding it extremely user-friendly and very useful."

Spiteri said: "We are delighted to be able to help take the iBins initiative to the next level by supporting the web app; a simple and straightforward tool that pinpoints the nearest available empty bin and empowers citizens to be more environmentally responsible. Helping protect Malta's environment is one of our three strategic pillars and we are therefore committed to use our next generation technology to help redefine the way waste is managed."

"Another advantage of this app," said Ing. Schembri "is that it will be diminishing vehicular emissions as it serves to avoid unnecessary traffic movements on the roads. Collection trucks are focussing only on those bins that need to be emptied, while responsible and environment-friendly citizens will be going directly to the nearest iBiNs. These results contibute to better traffic flows on the roads as unnecessary trips are avoided, bringing about another positive change in our communities."

MEP Dalli said: "The innovation and use of technology, such as the app being launched today, are important to increase environmental awareness and facilitate the public's options for more sustainable choices. At the European Parliament, we have worked on a number of laws to better manage waste in order to reduce it and recycle more. The next step is to implement these laws. In this manner, we can upgrade to the next level to leave a better environment for our children and future generations."
During her term, Dalli has actively urged the EU and member states to promote alternatives to plastic and further called for the incentivization of upcycling, whereby plastic waste is transformed into new materials.
The project has been supported through the Business Enhance ERDF Grant Schemes Initiative and part-financed by the European Regional Development Fund under Operational Programme I 2014-2020 Fostering a competitive and sustainable economy to meet our challenges. 
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