The resources required for the project were moderate, since the major part of the data implemented in the app was already existent, which also keeps maintenance costs low. The cost incurred by MA 48 was largely due to defining the functionalities and design of the app and testing it after programming. The programming work was done by an external company and required only a few weeks. The running cost is likewise very low, since no server expenses need to be paid; the same goes for data transmission and push messages, which likewise entail no cost. By comparison, reminder messages sent as SMS texts would result in additional expenses.
For the citizens, the benefit mainly lies in the simple handling of the app, as information about waste separation can be obtained, or MA 48 can be contacted for questions, in just a few easy steps anywhere and anytime. The service is free of charge and complements the service range offered by MA 48. The reminder function for the dates of problematic waste collection at the mobile collection points (already implemented) and for the pickup of the “yellow bags” (in the planning stage) makes it easier to get used to these new collection services. In the past, problematic waste was collected at fixed hours every day; today, there are more collection points, but waste can be left there only at specific time-slots of two hours every four weeks. In the “yellow bag” zones, too, the population must get used to new disposal times. While the public collection containers for plastic bottles permit disposal around the clock, the yellow bags are collected door-to-door. However, the bags may only be put out in front of the garden gate in the evening or early in the morning before being picked up by a MA 48 vehicle – this is to avoid an unpleasant visual impact. Thus the app offers an easy way of keeping informed about the different collection dates.
For MA 48, the benefit mainly lies in staying in contact with the population, positioning itself as a modern service provider and winning over new target groups to embrace environmental protection.
This is one single measure out of many that contribute to encouraging and facilitating waste separation in the metropolis and reduce littering. The app offers the possibility of disseminating information to citizens in an uncomplicated and low-cost manner.
In addition to this state-of-the-art application, MA 48 conveys information in manifold ways, and numerous activities are conducted on an ongoing basis in order to promote the objectives of environmental protection and sparing resource use to the public at large: the waste hot-line as an MA 48 service that answers all questions relating to waste, a comprehensive website including a facebook page, a dedicated YouTube channel, a wealth of information brochures and annual advertising campaigns, visits to kindergartens and schools, participation in events, guided tours of waste management facilities and “join-in activities”, such as the collective spring cleaning activity to sensitise the population to the benefits of a clean city. The app completes this information range and is part of the communication of MA 48 with the citizenry.
In the span of just one week, the app was downloaded already 1,600 times, which reflects the acceptance of, and need for, such a service on the part of the population.