DUBAI // A new smartphone application aims to make recycling easier for Dubai residents.
Reyoutilizer allows households and small companies to book the collection of recyclables such as paper, plastic and aluminium cans from their premises.
It can be downloaded for free by iPhone and Android users.
The recycling scheme is run by Union Paper Mills to encourage more people to separate their waste.
Households can already book collections over the phone, but logging the requests electronically with the new app is more streamlined and easier to manage, says Huzaifa Rangwala, a manager at Union Paper Mills.
"We get a lot of phone calls per day and it is hard to keep track of them," said Mr Rangwala.
Users also should find the system easier to use. When a user logs a request, their location appears on a Google map at the company's office.
"We can schedule trips based on the density of dots," said Mr Rangwala.
He said this saved the company from making more trips than necessary, and therefore cut costs.
The app allows users to send requests once a month to ensure there is enough recyclable material to make the collection worthwhile.
Once the company schedules a pickup, the system informs households of the time. Users can request a different time.
The app was developed by Ronak Dave, 23, and Shawn Frank, 22, who had the idea for it last year while finishing their studies at the University of Wollongong in Dubai.
The pair were brainstorming ideas for the Imagine Cup, a competition run by the software giant Microsoft.
Mr Dave and Mr Frank became the competition's UAE winners and represented the country at a global event in Sydney, Australia. They have since founded their own company, Mindhyve.
"We want to see how engaging the app is, how many people use it and how we can improve it," said Mr Frank.
The application gives users points every time they recycle. They can post their scores on social-media sites and win awards from the recycling company.
The country's first paper recycler, Union Paper Mills is able to reprocess most types of paper waste.
It sells the rest, along with plastic and cans, to other reprocessing facilities.
The company usually collects recyclable waste from large companies, shopping centres and large residential developments.
The application can be downloaded at www.reyoutilizer.com