If there’s one simple way of finding out where you’re going to dump all of your recyclable materials in the United States, it’s the iRecycle app. This app works for Android, iOS for your iPad, iPhone, or iPod touch, and in your browser. While the browser version is – surprisingly – less efficient than the app as it’s actually not an app at all (head to Earth911.com to see), you’ll find that it’s all using the same basic directory of information, and it all works.
What this application does is present you with an amazingly simple-to-use interface that shows categories of recycling, first of all. What you’re seeing above is the chart that pops up on the iPhone 5 (full-screen, yes!), it showing you a set of 12 categories: Automotive, Batteries, Construction, Electronics, Garden, Glass, Hazardous, Household, Metal, Paint, Paper, and Plastic. From there you’ll go to secondary categories.
In Metal you’ll have everything from Aerosol Cans to Lawnmowers to Vehicle Donation – and yes, there is some double-posting of secondary categories to make sure you get to where you want to go even if you select Metals instead of Automotive to recycle the metal in your vehicle. Once you select this secondary category, you get a screen that uses your current location (or a location of your choice) and gives you all of the nearby locations that recycle the product you’ve chosen.
Once you’ve found the one you want, you get a display with information including a phone number, the ability to visit the institution’s website, a link to Maps (Apple Maps if you’re on the iPhone or your choice of maps if you’re on Android), a checklist of other materials accepted, Restrictions, and additional notes. Of course each of these items only appears if the location has that information readily available – sometimes all you get is a location.
There’s also a Share button in the upper right-hand corner when you get to a location screen and everything connects as it should. This app is so easy to use and so helpful when we want to recycle our wares that it’s almost amazing that it’s free. Thanks to Earth911 though, it certainly is free, and it’s certainly worth a download – grab it!
Chris Burns is currently head editor for SlashGear and executive editor for Android Community. Based in Minneapolis, Minnesota, he's responsible for editorial decisions made for the USA-based day-team of SG and AC and he uses an iPad 3 as a VCR. Follow him @ t_chrisburns and inside Google+ at http://chrisburns.co/+ for tech, gadget, and design news galore.