UAE: New app brings recycling at doorstep, users can earn reward points

Alamy photo
Alamy photo

Abu Dhabi - The aim is to help people recycle more conveniently, and ultimately reduce the amount of waste.


Ismail Sebugwaawo

Published: Wed 15 Sep 2021, 2:48 PM

Last updated: Tue 21 Sep 2021, 10:23 AM

Now, just tap on an app and your recyclable waste will be collected from your doorstep. What's more, you collect points as they collect the waste. ​

A new recycling mobile app (RECAPP) has been introduced in Abu Dhabi to ensure recyclable wastes are collected from homes at no cost.

With a click, one can order the collection of recyclables from their door through the app and get points that they can redeem for gifts.

First launched by Veolia Middle East in November 2020, RECAPP is UAE’s first free-of-charge digital door-to-door mobile app service collecting recyclables and rewarding responsible behaviour for its members.

The objective is to help people recycle more conveniently, and ultimately reduce the amount of waste that ends up in landfills.

Jérôme Viricel, general manager of RECAPP at Veolia Middle East, said RECAPP enables Abu Dhabi residents to live a more sustainable lifestyle by making recycling as simple and straightforward as possible, and rewarding its users for recycling.

“Veolia guarantees that 100 per cent of the accepted recyclables collected are sorted and processed for recycling,” he said. “Working to promote recycling and encourage responsible behaviour with a generous reward scheme, RECAPP has already garnered a community of 7,000 users and the collection of more than 40 tonnes of recyclable materials.”

He added: “With RECAPP, the primary objective is to make recycling easy and accessible for each individual. At home, people are one step away from protecting their environment. Users simply visit the App Store or Google Play, search for ‘Go RECAPP’, download the application, and embark with their families on a rewarding recycling journey.”

How it works

Viricel explained that all users have to do is download the app, create an account with their location, and make a request for collection through the app, and the RECAPP team will come to their address to collect their recyclables, such as plastic bottles and aluminum cans.

“RECAPP is a contactless service, so the recyclables are left outside the front door of the collection address, and the team picks them up from the user’s doorstep,” he said.

“Users also win points for recyclable materials collected, which can then be redeemed into gifts offered by RECAPP partners from the online rewards marketplace. Each time a user recycles, points are accumulated based on the weight of the collected recyclables.”

The recyclable bag is weighed, and the weight is entered into the system to be converted into points. Users earn 1,000 points for every 1,000g (1kg) collected. 5,000 points are redeemable for Dh20 vouchers with RECAPP partners such as Carrefour or Al Ain Water. Therefore, RECAPP will award you with the equivalent of Dh20 in points for every 5kg of recyclables collected.

According to Viricel, people in the Middle East, and in the UAE especially, are demonstrating real enthusiasm and motivation for integrating eco-friendly behaviours into their daily lifestyles.

The importance of recycling, according to Viricel, is evident in the statistics. “Gulf countries are among the top 10 per capita waste generators in the world, and only around 10 per cent of waste generated in these countries is recycled,” he said.

“The UAE consumes almost 3 billion plastic bottles per year, and most families in the UAE throw away about 50kg of plastic per year, which could otherwise be recycled.”

Viricel pointed out that a major step for local communities, the RECAPP service brings a solution to challenges faced by residents and citizens as they strive to partake in the circular economy and transition to more sustainable households. RECAPP empowers each individual in their recycling process by offering an easy and efficient way to schedule pick-ups for recyclable material.

According to the official, incentive schemes paired with educational initiatives to teach communities about the importance of recycling, while providing accessible avenues for them to recycle is vital.

He noted that Veolia had recently arranged a beach cleaning effort in Abu Dhabi, in which 30 recyclers collected 176.2kg of waste, facilitated by the RECAPP app.

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