Recently, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) unveiled a challenge it is calling "Apps for the Environment." The program recruits developers to devise green-minded apps for mobile devices and PCs that use EPA data. From the official challenge website:
"Yes, for this challenge, we are leaving it wide open for you to be creative. We are not specifying exactly what kind of app we are looking for or what it needs to do - other than be creative and innovative, widely useful, and use EPA data fairly and consistently to address health or environmental problems."
I suspect members of the solid waste and recycling community could devise some pretty compelling apps suitable for this contest. What about an app that lays out the data about and dangers of various household hazardous wastes while presenting tips on how to properly recycle or dispose of those materials (along with a listing/map of places to do so)? Or an app that shows what can and can't be recycled in a certain area, along with information and EPA data to help foment community support for greater recycling options? The possibilities are endless.
The submission deadline for the challenge is Sept. 16, 2011. Winners will be recognized by EPA at a ceremony in Washington and will be publicized on the agency's website.