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Local students help us recycle

Local students help us recycle

Saturday 21 September 2019

Local students help us recycle

A team of Guernsey students have come up with a new app, which could soon be rolled out across the island to help people dispose of their rubbish in the right way.

'In the Bag' was first thought up at this year's C5 Alliance Ideathon as an attempt to increase the effectiveness of recycling.

The project was then passed over to the C5 Alliance bursary students and the 2019 Discover Digital intern to develop over the summer holidays.

"The idea is a recycling app that helps people discover how things can be broken down and what bags they go in," explained C5 Consultant Charles Christian, who led the project. "The team who came up with the idea put a persona behind the whole thing called Maude and internally it became project Maude. How will Maude recycle this? How will she find out how to recycle that?


Pictured: Local households are given white and blue bags to dispose of household recycling.

"Some of the key problem items like boxed wine and Pringles - the things that are made of lots of different materials - people will typically go 'I can't be bothered to take that apart' or 'I don't know where that goes'. But Maude can scan the barcode or search for the product and [the app] can tell her 'this goes in this bag' and 'that goes in that bag'".

In recent years, the Ideathon has stuck with an environmental theme with last year's team working on a 'Coastal Cleanup' app.

"Generally, we work in banks and stuff like that so it gives us the chance to do things for the community," added Mr Christian.

"When we started Coastal Cleanup we had never done apps before, so I spent a bit of time working internally on a template. I introduced the template to [this year's summer project team] and they actually had a working prototype of the app in the first two weeks, so it was only six weeks to get it up and running."

Guernsey Waste has been given access to the app and staff are using it to find out whether it would be useful to the public.


Pictured: Guernsey Waste team.

"Currently there are a bunch of generic items [on the app], so you can search for products," explained Mr Christian. "There's always going to be a plastic bottle in there, it might not be the one that you've got the barcode for, but if you scan a barcode and it doesn't come up you can report the product at which point someone can solve it.

"I think it could be useful. They've got leaflets on what goes in what bag and that is very helpful but we're hoping to also put in other information, so it's not just what goes in your blue bin and what goes in your white bin. You can recycle phones, mattresses, all of these things that people don't know about. They wouldn't know where to take them easily and the app brings all of that information. If there is a cost associated with recycling it will tell you the cost."

C5 Alliance hopes the app will be free for public use.

"We're not looking to make money on it," said Mr Christian. "We're not looking to recuperate the cost of development. It is a CSR project internally. The only thing we'll be looking for is agreeing on hosting and how we can keep it running. If people think this needs changes we can look at funding the bursary students to come back in the future."

A release date for the app has not yet been set.

Pictured top: Katie Marquand, Jessica Salisbury, Mike Borman, Rufus Barnes and William Tiffin - this year's summer project students.

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