STEVENS POINT, Wis. (WSAW) — Testing continues on an app in our area aimed at taking the complications out of recycling.

WSAW first reported back in April about the testing of ERbin, in Weston.


Now, a local university and its students are getting in on the research.

Students at the University of Wisconsin- Stevens Point are getting an up close and personal look at what they toss away.

Associate Professor of Soil and Waste Resources, Robert Michitsch, said “They’re getting quite the shock value to see how much material that could be recycled is actually thrown away.”

A test version of the app ERbin is being used to track what’s ending up in the bins.

Soon, more residents will be able to scan barcodes on their phone and learn what can and can’t be recycled.

“Recycling guidelines vary by community, not to mention that packaging is incredibly complex to begin with,” CEO and co-founder Michelle Goetsch said.

She and her brother launched a beta version of the app in Weston this March.

Goetsch explained her reasoning behind the app’s creation, “I was frustrated in my kitchen, I’m like, ‘I am smart, I care about recycling, why can’t I know how to recycle right?'”

Audits like the one at UWSP help collect plenty of interesting data.

“Every drop in the bucket counts with recycling. It’s really important to be educated so that we can have the most efficient processes possible and to reuse as much of our material as we can,” junior Gabi Bolwerk said.

So, what’s next for the app?

“We’ll do a ton of learning about student and faculty uptake of the app and then we’ll take that knowledge base and then go to other universities,” Goetsch said.

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