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Recycles App

Recycles App

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Categories assigned to this product within the main category Technology.


Categories assigned to this product within the main category Needs.

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What does it consist of:

RECICLOS is a tool developed by Ecoembes designed to encourage recycling. This digital recycling system is based on a return and reward method in the management of certain recyclable waste.

By scanning the barcode of a can or a plastic bottle of beverages, then depositing them in one of the authorized yellow containers or in the RECYCLING machines and scanning the QR code on the container, points called RECYCLING will be obtained.

These points can be redeemed to participate in Sorteos and get great rewards, like an electric scooter, or they can be donated to social projects in support of the environment and the community.

It should be noted that the digital platform on which the RECICLOS return and reward (SDR) system is based has been created by Blue Room, a young innovation and technological solutions startup based in Girona.

Forms of acquisition:

This app can be downloaded for both Android and IOS devices:

Link to Google Play

You can also visit the RECICLOS website at the following link:


Technical assessment:

Author: Cristina Alvarez Romero

April 2023


The way to collaborate in this recycling project based on mobile technology and green incentives is very simple. Just follow the steps below:

  1. Register: The first step is to sign up for a RECICLOS account. This can be done from the mobile phone.
  2. Scan the barcode: Scan from your RECYCLES account the barcode of those cans or plastic bottles of beverages that you want to recycle. These will be added to the section my bucket.
  3. Take your packaging to a yellow container or RECYCLE machine: Using the search engine, find the nearest yellow container or RECYCLING machine where to deposit your scanned containers.
  4. Scan the QR code: Once deposited, scan the QR that you will find in the machine or in the container to register the action. For each valid container you will add RECYCLE points to your account.
  5. Redeem your RECYCLING points: Accumulate these points to win sustainable prizes or participate in collaborative projects.

Graphics of the steps to follow with RECYCLES

Person scanning the QR of a RECYCLING machine
Person scanning the QR of a yellow container


In the application you can navigate through the different screens that it offers thanks to an icon bar located at the bottom.


Bottom toolbar


These screens are the following:

  • Home:

On this screen we find shortcuts to other screens of the application: a “exchange" Already "Scan”. We can also see the collaborative projects and raffles that are available to be able to participate in them, and discover the weekly news (such as the announcement of a new raffle).

  • Recycling

This section has access to "my cube", which shows the containers that have already been correctly scanned from the application and that are ready to be taken to the container or to the RECYCLING machine.

It also offers some maps, either from yellow containers or from RECYCLING machines available in Spain. It will ask for a permission to access the phone's location, and you need to allow it for it to work.

On the other hand, it offers instructions in the section “How does it work?” about the operation of the recycling system proposed by RECICLOS.

Recycle screen and maps
  • Scan

This is the section where you can scan the plastic containers that you want to recycle. To do this, the application must be given permission to access the camera Of the device.

In the event that the can or plastic bottle does not have a barcode, the app offers an option to take a photo of the container.

scanner screen
  • exchange

On this screen you can exchange RECYCLING points accumulated by recycling cans and plastic bottles. As mentioned above, these points can be used for two purposes:

    • To participate in Giveaways in which to get products, services and experiences related to the environment and sustainability.
    • Donate them to Collaborative projects for the benefit of the community and the environment.
redeem screen

Here you can consult the RECYCLE points that the user has accumulated, both generated and spent.

screen my recycles

Each of the screens also offers another toolbar at the top. From here you can consult directly my RECYCLES y my bucket. In addition, there is an icon with a bell where you can access My notifications. On the left side of this menu, there is a dropdown where you can see other Options.

In these Options You will have access to a section with information about how to earn RECICLOS points in different ways, quick instructions on how RECICLOS works, configuration of the app and profile, help and support, conditions and policies, and the option to exit the app logging out. 

Configuration and help dropdown screen

Tests performed

In order to verify the proper functioning of the recycling system proposed by Ecoembes through the RECICLOS initiative, a series of functional tests have been carried out. It has been carried out from a Xiaomi Mi Note 10, version of Android 11 and on an Iphone 8, and both have the same operation and interface.

The first step to start using RECICLOS is to register. The only data required are name, email and phone number, in order to verify the account and ensure fluid contact and communication of application improvements. It will also ask you to establish a password, the municipality where we reside and the type of bins we have at home to separate the waste generated at home.

Initial setup

He will then send us a text message to the mobile phone. By clicking on the link in the message we can verify our account and start using RECYCLES normally. The app offers some initial instructions to know the general operation.

Just for registering, RECYCLES gives you 10 points, and also if you invite someone you will earn 15 more points.

A fundamental aspect in the technical verification has been to verify that the scanning of the different containers that can be recycled through RECYCLES is correct.

When the barcode being scanned is from a product that can be recycled through RECYCLES, that is, from a can or a plastic beverage bottle, a message will appear. green rectangle around it and that container will be added to “Your cube”. However, when trying to scan the barcode of a product that cannot be recycled using RECYCLES, this rectangle appears in red and that product is not added to the user's virtual cube.

scanner screen
Scanner screen with red rectangle

The application only allows you to recycle 25 containers a week and no more than 6 of the same type in a day, with the aim that citizens have a responsible consumption.

The other main aspect on which the tests have focused is on checking how the system works once the containers have been taken to the yellow bin or RECYCLING machine.

In the test, the simplicity of the system has been verified. With the scanned containers, they have been taken to a RECYCLING machine, where they are introduced one by one through the opening provided for it. Then just open the app and select the “Empty Bucket” option. The scanner will automatically open with which we can scan the QR code that is displayed on the machine's screen (or the one that would be on the front of a yellow cube). RECYCLING points will be immediately added to our account.

Personal evidence of recycling a can in a RECYCLING machine

A point is obtained for each container that we have in the virtual cube. However, in the containers there is no way to control how many cans or plastic bottles have actually been put in, which makes this point count subject to the honesty of the person who recycles using this web application.

Technical performance

It has been possible to verify that the operation of the RECICLOS app is simple and does not present errors or problems.

Excessive battery consumption has not been observed during use. The memory occupied by the application is quite a lot, specifically 140 MB plus all the data that is progressively added to the app.


It is an application with simple interface, and with a visual but minimalist design, which makes it easy to navigate through it. The fact of having a toolbar with Shortcuts to the different sections of the app is very comfortable. We can also access My cube and My RECYCLES at any time, for any quick consultation.

The RECICLOS machines map shows us the position of each one, and if a specific one is chosen, clicking on it will show an icon Google Maps, which will give us direct access to this other application and thus be able to guide us to said machine, facilitating the process.

Map with option to google maps

At any time that a question arises, the application makes available to us the section "Help” in the dropdown on the left, which is very complete, with many frequently asked questions and brief but concise answers.


In this section, different criteria have been applied to assess whether the application can be used regardless of the capabilities of the user.

  • Accessibility for people with reduced or no vision:

As previously mentioned, the visual style of the application is very simple, using black letters on a white background that read correctly, and using buttons and icons in a bright yellow color, therefore, they stand out on the screen.

The application does not have a settings section where you can change the theme or the font or contrast options. However, it adapts to the accessibility settings of the mobile phone: if the font size is increased, the RECYCLES texts and icons will also increase, as well as the use of zoom.

To complete this section, some tests have been carried out with the screen reader systems available on Android (TalkBack) and iOS (Voice Over) devices. These tests have focused on checking the correct labeling of the icons and buttons that RECYCLES has. In the tests carried out, it has been verified that most of the buttons are well labeled, although some errors have been detected in terms of the alternative text of various icons, which do not correspond to their function.

  • Accessibility for people with comprehension difficulties:

Being a simple application, it facilitates its navigation, making it more intuitive and without generating confusion regarding its operation.

  • Accessibility for people with cognitive or mobility difficulties:

The proposed system involves carrying out a series of sequential steps to carry out the entire recycling process, including moving it to a container, which can be complicated for people with mobility or cognitive difficulties.

  • Accessibility for people with hearing difficulties:

People with hearing difficulties can use the application without any problem, as there is no content in the form of video or audio.

  • Accessibility for people who use a wheelchair:

Enabled containers have been found to be very tall. This makes it difficult for a person who uses a wheelchair to insert the containers into the bucket and scan the QR code present on the container, located in the upper part of it.


The RECICLOS recycling project, based on a Return and Reward System (SDR), can be a very interesting measure to encourage citizens to recycle.

Currently this system has some 32.000 containers that are added to this technology and more than 250 machines implemented in places such as transport stations, universities, hospitals, companies or shopping centers.

Through the possibility of winning prizes, being able to collaborate with social and environmental causes and having their individual work recognized, the citizens of a municipality can be more committed to recycling and, in this way, it increases.

RECICLOS is a good tool to implement a circular economy model in cities through recycling. In addition, it allows the Urban Agendas of these cities to be aligned with various Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Currently, RECICLOS allows you to recycle only plastic beverage bottles and cans, since they are the most recyclable waste generated in Spanish homes. Looking to the future and if the result of this project is satisfactory, it could be interesting to broaden the spectrum of products that can be recycled in the yellow container or in other containers.

In general terms, it can be said that the RECICLOS system works satisfactorily in those places where its operation has been tested.


  • The interface is very simple, visual and intuitive to use.
  • Offers multiple instructions with pictures.
  • It actively promotes recycling, achieving cleaner and more sustainable cities.
  • Promotes collaboration with social and environmental causes. As it shows the RECYCLING points that are missing for a donation to be carried out, it encourages users to set the goal of completing these points for a good cause.

Window to collaborate with the emergency of the earthquake in Türkiye

Improvement points

  • At the moment they only accept plastic beverage cans and bottles, and to further promote recycling, they should accept other types of plastic containers.
  • Improved accessibility for people with reduced or no vision and for people who use a wheelchair.  
  • This initiative could be implemented in other municipalities in Spain that do not yet have yellow containers and RECYCLE machines.

Technical evaluation scores.

Design and manufacturing:
This section refers to the physical aspects and details of the manufacturing of the technological product
Technical benefits:
Description of the quality of the technical specifications of the technological solution
User experience:
This criterion is linked to the user's assessment when relating to the technical product or application.
It is the degree to which people can use or access a product, technological solution or service, regardless of their technical, cognitive or physical abilities

Social valuation:

Social valuation scores.

Impact and utility:
This item has not been rated/5
Describes to what extent the functionalities of the product are useful and impact on improving the life of the user
Design and Ergonomics:
This item has not been rated/5
Assessment of how the design of the technological solution adapts to the person to achieve greater comfort and efficiency when using it
Usability and accessibility:
This item has not been rated/5
Possibility of the device to be used, understood and taken advantage of under equal conditions for anyone
Ease of acquisition:
This item has not been rated/5
It refers to the possibilities of accessing and acquiring a technological solution by the user.

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