Recycling app to reduce NSW contamination

Gus McCubbing

A free photo recognition recycling app designed to reduce kerbside cross-contamination has been launched in NSW.

Recycle Mate will allow people to take a photograph of an item and immediately discover where it can be recycled in their area, based on geolocation and the local recycling system.

The app, rolled out by the Australian Council of Recycling, will support existing efforts to communicate correct recycling behaviour to the public.

It will also provide disposal instructions for items placed in any kerbside bin.

"What we're trying to do is make things," ACOR CEO Pete Shmigel told reporters in Sydney on Friday.

"When people get it right at the bin, we get it right at the factory (and) make new cans, new bottles, new boxes, new mobile phone covers.

"Take your photographs, load them up to the app and, using artificial intelligence, it actually gets smarter and smarter all time about what belongs in the bin and if you have alternatives to the bin."

Mr Shmigel said the app, now available, was a prototype but he hoped the program would be "fully-fledged" by the end of 2020.