Solid Waste & Recycling



Smartphone App for waste program outreach One of the toughest jobs for municipal solid waste managers is maintaining the continuous promotion and education outreach effort needed to keep residents motivated to reduce, reuse and recycle more,...

Smartphone App for waste program outreach

One of the toughest jobs for municipal solid waste managers is maintaining the continuous promotion and education outreach effort needed to keep residents motivated to reduce, reuse and recycle more, says Creighton Hooper, an expert in developing and delivering direct mail educational material specifically for the municipal solid waste community.

Hooper, CEO of Municipal Media Inc. and, says the job of communicating with residents has gotten tougher for many municipalities in the last few years as staff cutbacks and budget slashing have constrained their ability to produce and distribute all-essential educational and motivational materials. Connecting with residents on a continuous basis is a well-known best practice of effective residential waste diversion and resource recovery programs.

That problem got him thinking about how could help.

“As soon as I saw the explosive growth in smartphone and tablet use in the last few years, not only in the US and Canada, but around the world, I knew there was a way to harness that emerging technology to make it work for municipal communication,” Hooper says.

He set to work creating my-waste, an app for smartphones and tablets that runs on iPhone, iPad, android and blackberry systems. When residents download it for free, they get all of their municipal solid waste program information at their fingertips, including the list of what’s accepted in their municipal recycling program and tips on how to reduce and reuse.

“We developed my-waste so each municipality can have its own version of the app, unique to their program and with all of their information loaded in. Not only is there a calendar showing ongoing collection schedules for recycling and garbage, but also for special event days for household hazardous waste, electronics, tires and more,” Hooper says.

“But the best part is that my-waste is intelligently designed so residents can set up reminder alerts on their smartphones and tablets so they’ll never forget another special collection day or change in schedule. That can mean municipalities will see increases in their resource recovery rates,” he adds.

Hooper says that by investing in the development of the app and making customizable versions available, municipalities can license their own version very cost-effectively, rather than having to invest large sums of money in developing, maintaining and improving their own app software.

“We’ve structured my-waste so that the annual cost to municipalities is substantially less than producing and distributing a brochure. my-waste is the answer for municipalities with shrinking budgets and time. It works out to a few pennies to fractions of a cent per household depending on the size of the municipality and best yet, residents download it for free.”

Annual licensing fees vary according to the size of the municipality. For example, the annual fee for municipalities with populations of 25,000 or less is $1,900; municipalities over 250,000 pay $3,200 a year.

Hooper says that will charge a one-time start-up fee and for that, they’ll do the work getting information from municipal websites and other documents and load it into the municipality’s version of the app, so municipalities don’t have to worry about finding the time. After that, will update program information at the annual renewal and on two separate occasions throughout the year at no additional cost.

“Once municipalities license the app, we can get it ready and go live in just four to six weeks,” he adds.

Part of the agreement includes providing draft copy for a news release and a website page to help promote the app to residents, plus a unique Quick Response (QR) code that can be placed on municipal materials and that will take smartphone users directly to the download page. Additional promotional materials such as a print ad or a poster are available at below-market value for graphic services.

A version of my-waste is available for viewing at

Al-jon landfill compactor

Al-jon Manufacturing, LLC, a manufacturer of products for the solid waste and scrap metal industries, recently unveiled its new 127,500-pound landfill compactor, the LC960-4. This new model replaces the Advantage 600, the flagship of the Al-jon compactor line.

The new LC960-4, Al-jon’s latest entry in the landfill compaction equipment market, is the industry’s largest machine. It offers customers excellent production and uptime, better landfill compaction, lower fuel consumption, lower maintenance costs, more precise operator control, more push power, and better safety than any previous compactor in the market. This heavyweight new model uses a Tier IV power system designed with an environmentally-friendly engine that meets or exceeds federal guidelines for industrial engine emissions.

In an innovative new twist, the LC960-4 comes standard with a removable power skid designed for ease of maintenance and service. It’s the only compactor that incorporates this unique feature that allows rebuilds to be completed in days not weeks.


Biomass shredders

The West Salem Machinery (WSM) Biomass Super ShreddersTM combine the efficiency of a high-speed mill with the durability of a heavy-duty grinder. Available with rotor widths from 60 to 88 inches (1524 mm x 2235 mm), these machines deliver higher tip speed for smaller, consistent fibre sizing; increased screen area for more thru-put; and flexible/interchangeable tooling.

The largest WSM Biomass Super Shredder – the massive Model 4888S – features a 48 dia. by 88 inch (1219 mm x 2235 mm) long rotor, and operates with 400-800 hp to convert high volumes of pre-processed biomass materials. The Super Shredders has superior production rates of up to 100 tph, eliminating the need for multiple machines. The shredders include AR interior wear liners, modular sizing screens, dual pivoting hydraulic housing, and reversible/replaceable hammer tips for reduced maintenance and operating costs.


EC updates EPR inventory

Environment Canada has updated its Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) and Product Stewardship Inventory of Programs. The online inventory provides the public with information on existing EPR and product stewardship programs in Canada.

It contains information on, among other things: what products are included in the programs; how products are being collected and how to locate drop-off locations; targets and performance of programs; applicability of fees; and, policies, monitoring and reporting.


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1 Comment » for Products
  1. David Eaves says:

    Our experience in working with numerous cities is that an app is a limited way to engage citizens around waste. On average only 31% of users use an app more than once. 22% abandon them after a single try.

    Our research suggests that residents are actually interested in a solution that meets their specific needs, be that a smart phone app, a friendly email or text message reminder, or calendar notice embedded right into their outlook or google calendar. The app, on its own, is all too often a gimmick with a poor ROI.

    At Open West Systems ( we work with several large and small Canadian cities doing just that – offering a comprehensive solution to meeting your calendaring needs in an online world. As a technology company we have data, research and the tools to help cities.

    David Eaves

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