While some households may not give much consideration to what happens to their waste when the refuse collectors take it, the truth is that the rubbish we create goes to landfills where it generates greenhouse gasses and contributes to the threat of climate change.
With growing populations and increasing amounts of rubbish, waste management has become a global concern. Thankfully, due to one initiative in the UAE, residents can help tackle the problem and even be rewarded at the same time.
Groene Point App rewards users for responsible waste disposal. To participate, users must take their rubbish to dedicated containers or specified collection stations. They are then required to segregate the waste into the correct categories before completing and registering a report on the Groene Point app. In return for this, participants are rewarded with points.
“Using an app makes people think about whether they dispose waste in the right way and in the right place,” says Alexander Efremenko, Founder and CEO of Groene Point.
“Since people will receive a direct reward, it becomes more motivational for them to do it in a proper way. Our system is about changing people's behaviour in the way of more responsible disposal.”
The rewards that users of the app receive can help save money on supermarket shops and even days out. “We are currently in partnership with Bounz Rewards,” Efremenko explains.
“Our points can be directly transferred to Bounz and spent as money in Choithrams and other retailers. It can also be exchanged for a lottery ticket by Emirates Draw or an entry ticket to Dubai Parks. Bounz Rewards is now in partnership with 25 various retailers located in UAE.”
One of the issues with waste disposal in the past has been that some people may not have segregated their waste correctly. The reason for this was often due to a lack of awareness or a lack of accessible facilities. This is something the company hopes to change through Groene Point’s collaboration with Abu Dhabi waste management company, Tadweer.
“Tadweer fully supported our initiative and we have launched a media campaign to find out how users understand and use recyclable containers in public places and residential areas,” says Efremenko. “The firm is one of the leaders in the UAE market. That was the main reason we decided to start our project from there.”
Although Groene Point is currently working with Tadweer across Abu Dhabi, the initiative is set to grow further across the Emirates.
“Our goal is to have proof that the system works so that we can go ahead and do this everywhere in the UAE,” says Efremenko.
For those who wish to become part of this beneficial programme, the app is available to download for all UAE residents.
“Our app is available to download on Android and Apple everywhere in the UAE and is absolutely free. We would be happy to have many people involved in our initiative for a better future and support UN goals of sustainability,” says Efremenko.
“We are also working to extend this initiative to Sharjah, Dubai and the Northern Emirates. We are looking to engage waste management companies to join the initiative and will soon add them to the list of providers in the Groene Point App.”
There are several advantages of Groene Point over its competitors since the company is not only about rewards for participants, but also provides much-needed information for waste management companies.
“Waste management companies receive knowledge of container usage and its condition.
Statistics will help them to understand whether the container is in a right place, whether the capacity of the container is enough, or if the place requires an additional container for a specific sort of waste like plastic or glass,” explains Efremenko.
“Our advanced analytics will help waste management companies optimise their service and distribution of containers to support the goal of building a system of segregated waste disposal in a multicultural environment such as the UAE in the near future.”
The invaluable information that is collected, will ultimately contribute to reducing the region's carbon footprint.
“First of all, deployment of waste containers and optimisation of labour will reduce the number of vehicle movements for collection,” says Efremenko.
“Another improvement is segregating waste. Waste management companies spend enormous efforts to segregate waste at their recycling centres. There will also be less power spend on segregation and fewer vehicle movements resulting in less carbon footprint.”
By helping reduce greenhouse gases and rewards for users, the Groene Point App is not only fantastic news for the planet but also for thrifty UAE residents.