Smartphones could turn recycling into a winner for people using a new high-tech promotion by the Whangarei District Council.
For six weeks, until December 3, people with smartphones and who use the permanent recycling bins on central city streets and one on the foreshore at Tutukaka will be able to go into a draw to win points for prizes.
The council is joining "It's a Karma thing", a campaign organised by Love NZ which uses GPS and Quick Response Code (QR) phone technology to scan codes on the bins to earn "Karma Kredits".
The council would stick QR codes on the bins and people who had smartphones would be able to scan the codes, then use the points to bid on auctions on the www.karmathing.co.nz website, WDC field officer Grant Alsop said. The auction goods would include smartphones, televisions and shopping vouchers.
"It's a really new thing for the council to do this. We tweet and we have a Facebook page, but this is the first time we have used a QR code in our work. It should appeal to a whole new group of customers," Mr Alsop said.
Love NZ recycling bins are installed in many places in New Zealand and "It's a Karma Thing" is an initiative to improve public place recycling. There are 14 Love NZ bins in Whangarei.
"Over the past two or three years people have been using them the right way more and more, with far less non-recyclable material going into them now," Mr Alsop said.
New bins would also be going into the revamped carpark on the Robert and John streets corner, he said.
Love NZ is backed by WasteMINZ, the largest representative body of the waste and resource recovery sector in New Zealand.
Formed in 1989, it is a membership-based organisation with more than 1000 members.