FREDERICTON (GNB) – Environment and Local Government Minister Serge Rousselle began Waste Reduction Week by attending the launch of a new mobile application and online tool that encourages participation in environmental programs and waste diversion.

The Chaleur Regional Service Commission tool, ReCollect, provides information and pick-up schedules for curbside blue and black bins, bulky refuse, hazardous waste and electronic waste, as well as details of public educational workshops on topics such as backyard composting.

“Our government is pleased to provide financial support to innovative initiatives like the ReCollect application and online tool, which are encouraging eco-friendly practices and habits,” said Rousselle. “This is one example of how we are helping New Brunswickers make more environmentally conscious decisions to reduce, reuse and recycle.”

The tool is now available online, and the application can be downloaded for free beginning today. Those who register online or download the free app within the next five weeks are automatically entered into a contest for a chance to win one of five tablets.

“We are pleased to have the provincial government’s support in acquiring this technology,” said commission chair Jean Guy Grant. “With ReCollect, residents can receive information and alerts on their mobile device, by email, phone or text message. These are small but tangible ways to make responsible waste management easier for people to manage in their busy lives.”

The provincial government provided $30,000 for the project through the Environmental Trust Fund. This year, many of the grassroots projects that received funding focus on education, awareness and reducing waste at the source through initiatives such as the ReCollect tool, school composting programs, curbside recycling and youth programs.

“Waste Reduction Week provides a reminder that we must all continue to reduce waste as a way to protect the environment and reduce our carbon footprint,” said Rousselle. “Every individual, business, organization and all levels of government have a role to play and can make a difference.”

Waste Reduction Week was developed in 2001 by a coalition of 13 recycling councils and sister organizations, and is marked each October across the country. The goal is to inform people about the environmental and social ramifications of wasteful practices. Events are held throughout New Brunswick by the many partners promoting responsible waste management.