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COLUMBIA - Columbia is using smartphones to inform people about recycling and trash programs.

The City of Columbia Solid Waste Utility is promoting the free COMO Recycle and Trash app, which provides trash pickup alerts and recycling tips. The app is available for both Apple and Android users.

Community Relations Specialist Patricia Hayles said the app's purpose is to inform residents about the best way to recycle, and allows the city to notify residents based on location.

"There's two main features, one is the reminder for your collection day," Hayles said.

Users can enter their address into the app so that it can provide your trash collection day. 

"So then you can work through the app to either set up a phone call, a text message, or even through-the-app reminders," she said. 

Users can get information about seasonal campaigns such as oversized item pick-up, hazardous waste drop-off, and composting workshops.

Another feature of the app is the Waste Wizard, where people can search what things can and cannot be recycled in Columbia.

"App users can go in and type in a material, they can type paper towels, to see if paper towels are recyclable," Hayles said. 

It also helps people find a way to recycle things like clothes and mattresses, by alerting them of donation drop offs, electronic waste drives, and other ways to recycle Hayles said.

She said there are about 2,500 app users currently, but the city would like one person in each household to download the app.

Hayles said the app has a 4.8 rating on the App Store.

"A lot of good reviews from people who use it, we're just trying to get the word out so people know it exists," she said.

One user that reviewed the app said "Great app. Really like the database of recyclables. Very helpful." 

If you don't have a smartphone, you can sign up online to get trash and recycling pickup alerts. 

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