Last week, Google announced its partnership with Earth911 to bring recycling search results on Google Assistant, making it easier to identify the right recycling choice for more than 350 materials. It is the first voice service to feature recycling information based on Earth911’s database of more than 250,000 locations in the United States.
The free service is available now. For example, just ask Google Assistant, “Hey Google, how do I recycle plastic bottles?” to hear a short explanation. Want to know the nearest drop-off location? Ask, “Hey Google, where can I recycle plastic bottles?” Google Assistant will respond with an address and map showing the fastest route.
Earth911 recycling information is available on Google Assistant devices and Android and iPhone smartphones.
Individuals have the most important role in the recycling process, the initial sorting and cleaning of recyclable materials. If you don’t take the right steps before placing an item in your curbside bin, the rest of the recycling system cannot deliver on the promise of reusable raw materials for new products.
“We are dedicated to making recycling and sustainable living choices easy to understand,” said Mitch Ratcliffe, publisher of Earth911.com. “With the Google Assistant launch, people can now ask questions on most connected devices and get an answer immediately.”
“At Google, we strive to build sustainability into everything we do — and we build tools to empower everyone,” said Jill Puente, sustainability marketing manager at Google. “This new feature in the assistant was built to empower individuals with information about what’s recyclable and how to recycle it. The small choices we make each day can help people and the planet thrive together.”
Recycling rates in the U.S. are “stuck” at 34 percent, a rate far below European levels. Dirty recyclables, from greasy pizza boxes to unrinsed milk jugs, contaminate as much as 25 percent of the materials recovered at the curb and municipal recycling locations. With a few simple steps, each of us can improve overall recycling rates.
In July, Earth911 introduced version 3.0 of its iRecycle app for iPhone and Android. The app connects you with guides for recycling specific materials, recycling locations, and daily sustainable living articles. We look forward to helping you anywhere you have a recycling question.