GreenPak has replaced traditional recycling skips with smart technology-equipped iBiNs in 42 localities the collector serves, according to a press release sent to Business Malta. The installation is also accompanied by the launch of an online application that helps citizens locate the bins.
Smart recycling iBiNs have gained quick public acceptance in Malta with a notable increase in the collection of recyclable paper, glass, metal and plastics and reduction of traffic emissions after the test run launched in January 2019, Mario Schembri, CEO of GreenPak, announced yesterday in the company of Kenneth Spiteri, Vodafone Malta’s Director of Enterprise and Member of the European Parliament Miriam Dalli.
“On selecting the colour-coded image of the iBiN, the app informs you whether an iBiN has free space for your recyclables. If the bin is full, the app guides you to the nearest available iBiN via a Google Map interface. User feedback from the trial period has been positive and we believe that people will be finding it extremely user-friendly and very useful,” said Mr Schembri.
The web app is available on the official website of GreenPak; no download is necessary. Furthermore, it is screen-responsive, which means that it works on any device such as smartphones, tablets, portable computers and others. Since early January, a group of 300 people throughout the islands have tried and tested the application, according to the press release.
“We are delighted to be able to help take the iBiNs initiative to the next level by supporting the web app; a simple and straightforward tool that pinpoints the nearest available empty bin and empowers citizens to be more environmentally responsible. Helping protect Malta’s environment is one of our three strategic pillars and we are therefore committed to using our next generation technology to help redefine the way waste is managed,” said Kenneth Spiteri.
The recently-installed system of iBiNs across Malta and Gozo have doubled the amount of plastic waste collected, while it has reduced the number of trips by collection trucks by 23%. Concurrently, this has lead to the reduction of gas emissions.
“Another advantage of this app is that it will be diminishing vehicular emissions as it serves to avoid unnecessary traffic movements on the roads,” said Mr Schembri. “Collection trucks are focussing only on those bins that need to be emptied, while responsible and environment-friendly citizens will be going directly to the nearest iBiNs. These results contribute to better traffic flows on the roads as unnecessary trips are avoided, bringing about another positive change in our communities,” he added.
During her term as an MEP, Ms Dalli has urged the European Union and its member states to promote alternatives to the usage of plastic, and further called for the incentivisation of upcycling — the process of transforming by-products into new materials in an environmentally conscious manner.
“The innovation and use of technology, such as the app being launched today, are important to increase environmental awareness and facilitate the public’s options for more sustainable choices. At European Parliament, we have worked on a number of laws to better manage waste in order to reduce it and recycle more. The next step is to implement these laws. In this manner, we can upgrade to the next level to leave a better environment for our children and future generations,” said Ms Dalli.
The project has been supported through the Business Enhance ERDF (European Regional Development Fund) Grant Schemes Initiative, and part-financed by the European Regional Development Fund under Operational Programme I 2014-2020 entitled Fostering a competitive and sustainable economy to meet our challenges.