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RecyApp by RecyApp, making comunnity.

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RecyApp is a App that allow connect enterprise , families with recyclers to make recycle process.


Summary / Résumé


Only 17% of the Colombian population recycles of your own waste [1] and the average waste  in this country is 19% [2]; according to World Health Organization  (WHO),  these  generates the following problems: emission of greenhouse gases (CH4 and CO2) because the waste reaches landfills without separating, bad smells (H2S, SO2 and NH3) and diseases to people who live near these places [3].


  • More of the 80% of colombian people show concern about waste separation[5].

  • Approximately the 70% of the Colombian population have a smartphone [4].

  • Six out of ten Colombian homes have internet[4]


RecyApp is a  App that connect: micro, Small and Medium Enterprises - SMEs and families to that they can give waste material to street recyclers, so all win because: the participating families  get discounts in affiliates enterprise that can show your products and services in the web page and mobile application of RecyApp and the street recyclers can will  make your job a safe way and more efficient because no will have to  walk in the street searching useful recycling material.

Objectives of RecyApp in the following 7 years

  • Incorporate more of the 25% of the colombian people in RecyApp.

  • Train and Work with more of the 40% of the colombian recycler in RecyApp.

  • Increase to 38% the waste recovery in Colombia.   

Sustainability of RecyApp

After of achieve incorporate more of the 10% of the colombian people in RecyApp, the team of the project will sell basic advertising packages such as: mailing, notifications to App users , advertisement in social network (premium service ) to SMEs  with assets under of $137.281 USD  and have less of 10 employees. This way of financing is selected because Colombia have 2,5 million of SMEs that generate more of the 66% of the jobs in this Country and brings the 28% Gross Domestic Product -GDP[6]. Additionally, Only the 1% of the Colombian SMEs are encouraged in the digital marketing[7]. The Cost  of this service is 12 USD for 3 months.



What actions do you propose? / Quelles actions proposez-vous?

RecyApp is a project that have  8 phases in your action plan:

Phase  1: Marketing study and characterization of the user and beneficiaries.

Phase  2: Development of  pilot mobile app and web page of the project.

Phase 3: Involve to recycler, families, SMEs, educative organizations and government organizations that will participate in pilot plan of RecyApp

Phase  4: RecyApp Pilot

Phase  5: Performance  evaluation to implementation of the RecyApp..

Phase  6: Develop of definitive mobile App

Phase  7: Implementation of the project in several neighborhoods in Bogota.

Phase  8: Performance  evaluation to  implementation of the RecyApp.

 Details of the eight  phases

Phase  1: Marketing study and characterization of the user and beneficiaries.

The initial work of the RecyApp team was define  main characteristics of recycler, families and SMEs Of Colombian; aditionalle  But they yet not has make a detail study of these future participants. So the RecyApp team composed of a systems engineer and a population analyst  will make this market study during 1 month and will responsive that following questions:

Analysis of customers and users

-       Demographic and psychographic data that target market will reach.

-       How big is the target market?

-       What are the main segments?

-       Who are the clients and users (specifically)?

-       What are the needs, wants and preferences of these clients and users?

-       Why, where, how and when the SMEs  advertising packages?

-       What ways users families and  SMEs to recycle?

-       What external trends affect the target of RecyApp?

Analysis of competitors

-     Find out and define who the current and future competitions are, where  they are, what their strengths and weaknesses are, and how compare.

-       Identify local, regional, national and international competitors.

-       How connect RecyApp with customers and users?

-       How are marketing efforts of RecyApp?

-       What are competitive advantages of competitors?

-       What are competitive advantages of the RecyApp?

-       How RecyApp will  face new competitions? SWOT analysis

After of responsive these questions, the team project will identify the: The marketing objectives, strategies and tactics. The marketing objectives  that can be Positioning in the market, sales, downloads of the App or others and is necessary   take into account: product line, positioning of the product, brand and packaging, prices and promotion. The strategies are the Plans to achieve the objective and tactics are actions that support the strategies.

Phase  2: Mobile App development (RecyApp) and web page of the project.

In this phase of the project, the RecyApp team will develop a pilot mobile app that that will have  the following functionalities:

Functionalities the families users:

  • Upload contact data.

  • Notify disponibility of waste material.

  • Upload verification code that is delivered by the recycler to load discount vouchers into the system (hosting).

  • Download report about amount of points and others items.

Functionalities the  SMEs users:

  • Upload data of the SMEs.

  • Upload and update data of products and service.

  • Register in the system when a family buy products and service with discount vouchers.

  • Download reports.

Functionalities the  Recyclers users:

  • Receives notifications about.

  • Receives verification code that will give to families.

So, The first option to develop this mobile app is the platform called MIT App Inventor ( “is an intuitive, visual programming environment that allows everyone – even children – to build fully functional apps for smartphones and tablets” [8]) because is  free, easy to use and allows connections with server, databases and use many tools of the smartphone such as GPS, camera and others. The only problem of this platform is that only work in android system (not work in iOS systems), but this not is a big problem because in Colombia most people using smartphone with android as operative system.

This phase will make in four months by a engineer informatic.

Phase 3: Involve to recycler, homes, SMEs, educative organizations and government organizations that will participate in pilot plan of RecyApp.

RecyApp will work with:

Recyclers associations.

The Recyclers associations are organizations  that gather recyclers to that the Government can work with they. So  the recyapp team search and find this associations to propose to work in RecyApp pilot.  

Associations of neighbors.  

In Colombia exist  Associations of neighbors that work to involve the people in the  government decisions, is a “bridge” between the citizens and the state. So  the RecyAapp team need talks with this associations to that these disseminate project information in the families.

Associations of SMEs

The SMEs are organized in associations,  these allow reach new clients, new New markets, demand help from the state and other things. So  the RecyAapp team need talks with this associations to that these disseminate project information in the SMEs.

Educative organizations

The recyclers involve in RecyApp  can learn about tools digitals, the persons that will work in this will be   university student. In this way they can help to solutions the technological illiteracy in the recyclers and the waste management problem in Colombia

Government organizations

Colombia has state organizations with the work of citizenship and preserve the environment, these are: the ministry of the environment and sustainable development, the regional autonomous corporation, the secretaries of environment of each city, so the RecyApp project will seek the representatives of these to be able to talk to them about recyApp and get them to support the project.

RecyApp involved Bogotá city through of  spaces to the citizenship as in distrital news (see City TV: in, Advertising in some universities (see: ) and in social networks (continue in: )

Phase  4: Pilot Project

The pilot project consists of selecting a sample population that is integrated by street recyclers, SMEs and families from a particular sector of Bogotá in order to test the RecyApp model and identify aspects such as: strengths, deficiencies and others. For this, the mobile application developed previously that will link all user.

The families of the Bogota sector where the pilot test is carried out should be interested in the separation of waste, intermediate handling of the smartphone and be interested in saving.

On the other hand, recyclers in the same sector must be in an association that has access to the internet, computer and / or smartphone and intermediate management of technological tools so that they can transmit the information to recyclers.

Finally, SMEs must have access to Internet, computer and / or smartphone interaction and intermediate management of technological tools to be able to do all the required processes in RecyApp.

In the following video show the way to link street recycler, SMEs and families:

Phase  5: Performance evaluation to implementation of the RecyApp pilot (impact indicators).

The RecyApp pilot project will be evaluated taking into account the following impact indicators:

Users coverage Indicators

  • Number of recyclers involved and trained in  RecyApp.

  • Number of families involved in RecyApp

  • Number of times each of families  reported about waste material to recycler.

  • Number of times that the families  buyed product and services in SMEs involved in the project, using discount  that they got in RecyApp.

  • Number of  SMEs involved in RecyApp.

 Quality indicators

           - Fulfillment of the compromises of the recyclers, families and SMEs

           - kindness and diligence   of recycler and employees of SMEs to families.  

Budget indicators

           - Number of companies that buyed advertising package (premium service).

           - Number of times each of families buyed  advertising package.

           - Earnings for the traffic in the web page and the app.

All the participants will be able to express their opinions about the project in order to make the corrections in the final implementation of RecyApp.

This evaluation will be carried out continuously using computer tools.

Phase  6: Develop of definitive App.

After identifying the aspects to be improved of the project and developing improvement plans, the team Project proceed to the development of the definitive mobile application that will have the following stages of development:

 - Create sketches of the application

 - Create the Wireframe and the Storyboard

 - Define the back end

 - Create a prototype

 - Build the back end

 - Design of the "Skins" of the App

 - Application optimization


Phase  7: implementation of the project in several neighborhoods in Bogota.

In this phase, different locations in Bogotá will be invited to participate in RecyApp. After having 100 people affiliated by neighborhood, we will proceed with the RecyApp process in that community. So we came to that neighborhood and called on associations of street recyclers and SMEs to implement the RecyApp model.

Finally, a while it is expected to reach different cities in Colombia (Cali, Medellin, Cartagena, Santander and others).

Phase  8: Performance  evaluation to  implementation of the RecyApp project

The evaluation of the project will be carried out with the same impact indicators that were used to evaluate the pilot test.

 Finally, RecyApp will incorporate a  masters project of the Universidad Francisco José de Caldas that is a system Quality Air to help persons of  a neighborhood named “el Mochuelo alto” located in Bogota-Colombia because this zone is very near of the Land Fill “Dona Juana” that  handles inappropriately all trash of the Bogota creating explosions spread of odors and diseases that threaten the quality of life of people. This project is: a monitoring system and monitoring pollutant gases : H2S,  NH3, SO2, CH4, CO2 in the affected area in question.

Which types of stakeholders are involved, in which way? / Quels types de parties prenantes sont impliqués, de quelle façon?

No studies were found on street recyclers at the national level, but if from Bogotá

Street Recyclers.

The street recycler diverting waste from landfill.  the work of recycling is realized in the main by men, the majority they are native to Bogota and the ages of major concentration of  street recyclers are  between the 23 and 49 years old[8].

They lives in : the street, tenancies, pieces pays diary, invasion, herdsman or others . 69,1 % of the street reyclers have health service by state, only 5,3 % pay for this and the other  not have have health service . The 74,4 % have elementary ducation between primary  or are high school, only the  1 % have  university studies and another 1 % have technical and / or technological studies.

The following video shows that the street recycler is interest in  adopt the App and the street recycler associations   have the technology needed to support it (view video):   


In March, 2017, 706.324 companies are registered in Bogota by condition of active matriculation, of the total of the companies in the city by active matriculation, 31,2 % belongs to the sector of trade, 13,0 % to professional services, 12,9 % to industry, the rest to construction, financial services, tourism, social, managerial services, communications, transport and the agricultural and mining sector [9].

Of 33.013 mike establishments to September, 2016, 31,9 % was using some good TIC: 24,4 % was using computer of office, 7,3 % was using portable and 8,6 % was using others.


6 of every 10 homes in the country possess connection to Internet, 7 of every 10 Colombians think that the network facilitates the life to them, 7 of every 10 homes have access to cellular intelligent, it is been considered the Internet more important in the life of the persons that any other way of communication and according to Kantar Ibope's investigation Facebook, WhatsApp and YouTube are the networks most used by the Colombians.

How could the actions be scaled up at the neighborhood or city level? / Comment serait-il possible d'augmenter la portée des actions à l'échelle des quartiers ou de la ville?

RecyApp is a proposal that was born to take advantage of the massive use of information technologies and communications such as the Internet, computers, smart phones and others, the model with which it is designed allows participants from different locations to link to the project without having to modify its technological infrastructure or its logistics. So the scalability of this proposal at the national level is easy to achieve. To achieve this, the following aspects are required:

- Advertising the project in different media such as: social networks, printed press, digital press, radio and others.
- To travel constantly to different cities to be able to link associations of recyclers, neighborhood associations and associations of SMEs to RecyApp
- Support from state organizations as this facilitates the growth process.


Specifically, After having 100 people affiliated by neighborhood, we will proceed with the RecyApp process in that community. So we came to that neighborhood and called on associations of street recyclers and SMEs to implement the RecyApp model. In this way, RecyApp will reach all of Colombia

What impact will these actions have on reducing greenhouse gas emissions and adapting to climate change? / Quels impacts auront ces actions sur la réduction des émissions de gaz à effet de serre et l'adaptation aux changements climatiques?

The vast majority of Colombians classify their waste, they are limited to depositing all waste (organic waste, ordinary waste, paper, plastic, glass, metals, among others) in a black bag that is collected by the cleaning company in a vehicle that compacts all this waste and takes them to the landfills.

Negative consequences in the separation of waste in Colombia.
When garbage reaches landfills, it produces greenhouse gases and other harmful compounds. This phenomenon occurs in two fundamental steps: the first is when organic waste (animal waste, plant waste and excrement) are decomposed in the presence of oxygen (aerobic decomposition) in which microorganisms that feed on oxygen generate gases such as dioxide of carbon (CO2). In the second step, when the waste is covered by soil, there are anaerobic microbial processes of decomposition (without oxygen) in which the following gases are produced: Ammonia (NH3), Carbon dioxide (CO2), Methane (CH4) , Sulfuric acid (H2S), Sulfur dioxide (S02), among others.

Impact of RecyApp in the solution of this phenomenon.
With the implementation of RecyApp, it is expected that the amount of greenhouse gases emitted by landfills will be reduced since the amount of waste that arrives without separating these spaces will be lower.

What are the other environmental, economic or social benefits? / Quels sont les autres bénéfices environnementaux, économiques et sociaux?

Social impact

-Visibilización of the reciclador 

- across slant of permanent campaigns of pedagogy one seeks to generate an environmental conscience favoring the separation of residues in the homes and companies.

- digital literacy for companies, recicladores and associations of recicladores by means of the training in digital tools with support of universities and managing the donation of Tablets and Smartphone.

Environmental impact


  • In Bogota, daily 1.200 tons waste is diverted from landfill (19% of all daily waste) by more of 12.999 recyclers)
  • In Medellin, daily 390 tons waste is diverted from landfill (29% of all daily waste) by more of 3.680 recyclers)
  • In Cali, daily 390 tons waste is diverted from landfill (17% of all daily waste) by more of 2574recyclers)

- environmental integral offer that involves all you involved sectors and stimulates them to taking advantage of the solid and organic residues based on the Technology.

- significant reduction of the problems of pollution of the air, evil I handle of garbages, presence of insects and rodents and reduction of diseases.

- there will be increased the efficiency of the compilation of materials to having easy access to the recyclable material.

- increase of the useful life of the systems of sanitary landfill and protection of the natural renewable and not renewable resources.

The analysis of the current context and the expected with RecyApp in processes, amount of waste and linking the companies that buy they are observed below: 

Economic impact

- reduction of costs in advertising of the mipymes and publish services in a catalogue on line in the web page and RecyApp's application.

- to support the process of environmental responsibility in the mipymes avoiding sanctions.

- economic incentives like discount bonds in the mipymes of the zone for the homes and reduction of invoice costs according to legislation.

- reduction of costs of compilation of not recyclable garbages.


What are the most innovative aspects and main strengths of this approach? / Quels sont les aspects novateurs et les principales forces de cette approche?

The main innovation of RecyApp connect families, households and businesses to carry out recycling processes. In Colombia there are initiatives aimed at promoting recycling, but what they do is to show locations so that people can move and deposit waste material such as recypuntos. This has not been very welcome since people must travel to these places and do not show an immediate benefit.

RecyApp offers recyclers the possibility to collect useful materials without the need to dig into the "garbage" of homes and businesses dignifying their work as a recuperator guaranteeing greater well-being and quality of life, reduction of diseases, digital capacity, among others; Regarding the companies, the application supports the visibility in the market and gives families the possibility of recycling without having to move from their homes, since the recycler collects the material at the door of their homes and receive economic benefits. In Colombia there is nothing similar. In addition, the way in which RecyApp will achieve its economic sustainability is innovative since it will strengthen SMEs by involving them in digital marketing at low cost.


In this video we explanation de RecyApp model (view video):

What are the proposal’s projected costs? / Quels sont les coûts projetés de la proposition?

Hosting (1 years)------------------------------------------>  300 USD
Domain(1 years)------------------------------------------->  50 USD
Software licenses------------------------------------------>  2.000 USD
Office rental (6 months)---------------------------------->  3.000 USD
Transportation, refreshments, other(1 years)-------> 1.000 USD
Web designer (6 months)--------------------------------> 5.000 USD 
Frontend engineer (6 months)--------------------------> 5.000 USD

advertising---------------------------------------------------> 2.000 USD


TOTAL  ------------------------------------------------------>18.350 USD

What are the potential challenges or obstacles? / Quels sont les défis ou les obstacles potentiels?

When making a first approach to the participants of the application, the following challenges were evident:
• Distrust of the clients before a new technological proposal.
 • Competition in the market of alternative solutions to the problem of solid waste separation.
• Distrust of recyclers
• Lack of Internet coverage in some areas as well as little or no access to mobile telephony (Smartphone)
• Ignorance of the household waste separation process
• Little use of technologies in the advertising of SMEs
 • Little training in mobile technologies, applications, web pages, etc. • Lack of linking waste pickers to associations

Taking this into account, the following strengths are in the team and the proposal:
 • Academic formation of the work team, initiative, commitment and experience.
• Quality service to customers and users.
 • Not very high economic risk and credit capacity to access loans when required.
 • Benefit for the entire created community (users, companies, recyclers)

About the authors / À propos des auteur(e)s


I am Systems Engineer, i  have 4 years of experience working in schools located in vulnerable areas of the city, showing new trends in technology  to young people with great intelligence but without resouces.

I was coordinator of the clubhouse Children's Museum (Bogotá, Col) during  (2013 - 2014). The Clubhouse program is part of the international community of 100 Clubhouses located in 19 countries. Your mission is to provide a creative and safe out-of-school learning environment where young people. And  I traveled to USA (Boston MA- Museum of Science)to  Accompany young people.

Jeimmy Atará

Licensed in Psychology and Pedagogy at the National Pedagogical University (UPN) with seven (7) years of professional experience as a counselor, teacher and know workshop with vulnerable populations of all ages, always contributing to the generation of new pedagogical proposals that seek to close social gaps and the development of social, cultural and environmental skills in the community.

References / Références



[2] recicladores-

WIEGO-WP9- espanol.pdf