Council's phone app a first in NZ

New Zealand's first council-run smartphone application for waste management was launched in Clutha this week.

Clutha District Council waste minimisation officer Brendon Harper said the application would put all the information residents and visitors need to know about rubbish and recycling in the Clutha district at their fingertips.

He said the ''my-waste app'' was a first for New Zealand, and had been introduced using funding received from the Ministry for the Environment for waste minimisation.

The application allows users of mobile devices to download the full range of rubbish and recycling information, including wheelie-bin collection schedules, landfill and transfer station fees and operating hours, and a search function that lets users quickly find out what to do with a regular or an out-of-the-ordinary item.

Users could also set optional reminders for their wheelie-bin day, he said.

''Residents can also look up handy waste-minimisation tips to help them reduce the amount of waste they create. This feature is particularly helpful for anyone finding that their rubbish wheelie bin is fuller than before with the move to a fortnightly collection.''

The Clutha my-waste app also includes a ''report a problem'' function, which allows residents to report missed wheelie-bin collections, damaged bins, illegal rubbish dumping and even overflowing public bins.

It is free to download by going to www.cluthadc.govt.nz, or by searching for ''my-waste'' in either the Apple AppStore or Google Play. A version for Blackberry is also expected to be available in the new year.

Mr Harper said it was important to note the my-waste app was just another way for the council to communicate information about rubbish and recycling to the community. The council would continue to distribute printed materials and have information on its website.