Skip to main content

New augmented reality app brings recycling to life

The organization is the latest marketer to test the waters of augmented reality

Recycle Everywhere is challenging consumers in Manitoba to take a break from Pokémon Go and try out a new augmented reality (AR) app designed to encourage recycling.

Created by Dash Agency in collaboration with Electric Monk Media, the Recycling Starts Here app was designed to increase awareness of the blue recycling bins the organization operates around the province. Consumers who download the app can point their phones at any blue bin, which will prompt a digital experience that tells them what items can and can’t be recycled.

Arielle Gurevich, communications manager for Recycle Everywhere, said the app was designed to connect with one of its key targets, males 18-25, who are both difficult to reach and typically non-recyclers. “We often talk about our ‘problem recyclers’ are males between the ages of 18 and 25. The app allows us to engage with this demographic in a way that is exciting to them and therefore we hope to start to curb poor recycling behaviours,” Gurevich said.

The launch for the app comes just a few weeks after Pokémon Go’s massive popularity put AR technology at the forefront of mainstream consciousness. While the app has benefited from the buzz around Pokémon Go, Gurevich said the timing was a happy accident. The project had been in the works since February.

“The launch of the Recycle Starts Here app was timely in that now most people know what AR is,” Gurevich said. “Until Pokémon Go hit the market, AR wasn’t commonplace.”

Dash also designed four additional AR experiences for bins in high traffic areas such as the Winnipeg Zoo and Investors Group Field. By checking in at each of the sites using the app, consumers can enter to win prizes including a trip to Churchill, Manitoba and tickets to Winnipeg Blue Bombers and Winnipeg Goldeyes games.

It’s the agency’s first AR project, but Dash president David Bell said he sees a lot of potential for future AR initiatives.

“Augmented reality, I think, has huge opportunities for brands because you can take a product, an experience or a store and have users, through their phones, capture it and then show them digital messages,” Bell said. “It’s definitely something innovative in marketing and I’m excited we had a client that was so forward thinking and allowed us to do this for them.”

The app went live on the Google Play store and the Apple App Store late last month and was officially launched with a press conference by Recycle Everywhere on Aug. 5. To date the app has garnered more than 500 downloads.

Late last week Recycle Everywhere also launched an integrated campaign to promote the app. The campaign includes OOH, digital and social media ads and print ads in local newspapers.

This article first appeared on

This ad will auto-close in 10 seconds