NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ–On September 26, the City of New Brunswick took one step further into the 21st century with the implementation of the first smartphone application to connect residents with their government in city history.
MyWaste, a free application that lets users check garbage and recycling pick-up days in their zone, and set reminders of upcoming collection days and events, is now available to New Brunswick residents.
The app has several other functions, connecting the public directly with the Department of Public Works.
In addition to posting regular collection dates, MyWaste has a search function that helps people find the best way to dispose of various items such as old air conditioning units or electronics, as well as tips on how to reduce waste, and information on holiday collection schedules.
It is also a line of communication with Public Works—users can report issues or submit comments directly to the department.
The New Brunswick Public Works Department believes MyWaste will be particularly useful to Rutgers’ population of off-campus students, a generation accustomed to getting vital information through phones and computer screens.
“This app contains a lot of information and addresses many common questions we receive at the Department of Public Works,” said Donna Caputo, New Brunswick’s Recycling Coordinator.
“This app is a great way to utilize existing technology to improve our trash and recycling programs,” Caputo said. “I’m confident residents that use the app will love it.”
The app is available for both Android and iPhone operating systems, and in both English and Spanish. It can be downloaded via each smartphone's respective app store, or by clicking "Download MyWaste" on the the Public Works website.
There is also an online version available at http://thecityofnewbrunswick.org/public-works/my-waste-test-page.
First, the app must be configured, asking users to select their home country and home state before selecting "New Brunswick, City of" halfway down the following menu.
The user will then download the package of complete trash and recycling details for New Brunswick.
Next, the app shows a map of the city and asks users to select for the proper zones for their garbage and recycling pickup.
At this point, the app finally asks the user for their preferred language, English or Spanish.
The next screen to appear is the calendar for the current month, with black circles for trash collection days and green circles for recycling collection.
The calendar also includes special events such as leaf collections, paper shredding events, TV & computer drop-off dates, and Christmas tree pick-ups.
The app includes a handy legend explaining the various symbols and, to the left of the legend, an option to export that month's calendar to other devices.
Those interested in the app’s other functions should click on the house symbol in the bottom toolbar, which will direct users to the New Brunswick home screen, including menu items like "What Goes Where?" and "Report a Problem."
Another feature on the bottom toolbar is the "What do you want to recycle?" search tool, accessible by clicking the magnifying glass symbol.
MyWaste is a product of Municipal Media Inc., which first released the app in 2011. It was initially used in 250 communities across the globe, and is spreading to new towns and cities each year.