Wise Up to Where Your Waste Goes!

If you’ve ever wondered whether your ex should go in the trash, in the recycling or to an Eco Station, apparently you’re not alone. “Hilariously enough, ex-boyfriend has been suggested to be added to the WasteWise database,“ says Erika Droessler, Education Programs Supervisor for Utility Services.

The City’s latest app/web widget, WasteWise, helps residents learn if specific waste items should be placed in the garbage, recycle or taken to an Eco Station by searching an up-to-date database. “In terms of what we put in the database, it was a challenge trying to predict what residents would want to search for, so I’m glad there’s also a feedback mechanism to get the items we missed,” explains Erika.

WasteWise also allows residents to find their collection schedule and sign up for reminders and important seasonal alerts related to waste. And there’s a fun waste sorting game!

According to Erika, about 300 items have been suggested by the public so far. “Some suggestions have been added as new items, many have been added as synonyms and a few have not been added at all!” A smoke detector is an example of an item that was added. They even added “moose” as a synonym for animal carcass. “Yes, we did think of animal carcass!”

“The things we haven’t added have been the most interesting, with funny ones like certain politicians; challenging ones like a ten-pin bowling ball; and downright puzzling ones like ‘a sealed, unclean, unempty [sic] plastic bottle’ — what does that mean!?” laughs Erika. “But it has been great so far. All of the feedback really shows that Edmontonians care a lot about their environment and how their waste impacts it.”

In terms of the items that residents search for the most, pizza boxes are currently number one (938 times), followed by shredded paper (677 times) and styrofoam (655 times).

“Edmontonians told us they wanted to know more about how to sort their waste, so we’re very happy with the response WasteWise has gotten so far,” says Erika.

To date WasteWise has:

  • been downloaded 4,400 times
  • had 34,000 item views
  • been used to provide 5300 unique addresses with collection schedules

So, if you haven’t yet, download the app or bookmark the web widget, check it out and give Erika some feedback!

Also, in case you were wondering where your ex should go, “Obviously to an Eco Station with all of your other household hazardous waste,” says Erika as-a-matter-of-factly.


Learn More…

The public is encouraged to tour the Edmonton Waste Management Centre to learn about what happens to their waste and how they can help the City process it more efficiently. In fact, it was this tour that inspired Erika to join the Waste Management Utility to help educate Edmontonians about waste!

You can also organize a lunch-and-learn session — That’s Not Garbage! — at your workplace by calling 780-496-5404.

Erika Droessler shows off the WasteWise App, which allows people to search where specific items should go - garbage, recycling or an Eco Station.
Erika Droessler shows off the WasteWise App, which allows people to search where specific items should go – garbage, recycling or an Eco Station.