What is an ‘app’?
“App” is short for “application” or “application program”. But really, it’s just software that has been created to run on a smartphone or tablet computer.
What is a “smartphone” (or smart phone)?
A smartphone is a mobile phone that does more than just make phone calls – essentially it’s a portable computer. Smart phones can be used to do things such as connect to the internet, send / receive email, run apps, take pictures, etc. The Apple iPhone, Blackberry devices and Android-powered phones like the Samsung Galaxy are all examples of smart phones.
What is a tablet computer?
A tablet computer condenses the functionality of a desktop computer down to a device shaped like a flat, thin book or picture frame. It’s lightweight, requires no separate monitor, keyboard or mouse, and it’s powerful. Although the Apple iPad is the best known tablet computer, HP, Samsung, Kobo and others also make them. The Amazon Kindle is an example of a tablet computer.
Will the My-Waste app run on any smartphone or tablet computer?
No. Smartphones and tablet computers use a variety of different operating systems (depending upon the brand) and, so far, My-waste has been adapted to run on the 2 most popular platforms in use on 70% of all smartphones and tablets. While traditional desktop computers run on the Windows, Mac or Linux operating system, smartphones and tablets run on one of these operating systems:
iOS (Apple) – all Apple iPhone, iPad and iTouch devices run on the iOS operating system, which means they can all run the same My-Waste app. Residents with an iOS-powered smart phone or tablet can download the My-Waste app for free, from the iTunes online store. Currently there is not an enhanced version of My-waste for the iPad, however 1 is planned for 2013. In the meantime, the standard version of My-waste works just fine.
Android – Developed by Google, Android this is the most widely used operating system, powering almost 50% of all smartphones. Samsung and HTC are the 2 most popular brands of smart phones using this operating system, however there are many more. Residents with an Android-powered smartphone or tablet can download the My-Waste app for free from the Android Marketplace.
Blackberry – Currently, different Blackberry models run on different operating systems, all of them proprietary to the company Research in Motion (RIM). It is impossible to develop an app that can be used on all Blackberry devices, so My-Waste has not been designed to run on Blackberry products. However, starting in 2013, all new Blackberries are expected to utilize RIM’s ‘next generation’ operating system, called “BBX”, which will be compatible with Android apps. So for now, there is no My-Waste app for Blackberry, however this may change in 2013 for residents using one of the new Blackberry devices.
Others – Other devices run on different operating systems, and currently My-Waste is not available for them. As popularity and markets develop for other operating systems and devices, My-Waste will be adapted to run on these as well.
Do I have to pay to download the app?
There is no cost to download and use the My-Waste app. No code or coupon is needed – anyone may download and use it.
Who owns My-Waste?
My-Waste is owned by Municipal Media Inc. of Toronto, Canada. Municipal Media has been actively promoting outreach and education for municipal solid waste since 2001.
Will I have to enter information that pertains to me (County, street address, etc.) each time I use the app? Do I have to update it every year?
No. When you download My-Waste, there is an initial 5 step set-up process, then, from that point on, only information for your specific collection zone is displayed. Your information is kept-up-to-date from year to year, with no need to download a new schedule.
Does that mean the schedule shows only my collection days—not pickups for other areas of the county?
Yes. Once the app is set up, there is no need to keep track of which collection zone you live in or to reset anything from year to year. However, if you move to a new household in Frederick County, you can edit your app settings to show data for the new address (you do not have to re-download the app).
So, is the app just the same as the County’s website?
No, although both provide similar information. To fit the smaller screen of a smart phone, app text has been condensed so just the key information is there, stated in simple terms. Frederick County’s website presents more information and a wider range of topics, but we expect My-Waste will have the answers to most common residential inquiries. But the most exciting difference is that, in addition to information, my-waste also offers unique services such as recycling reminders and a problem reporting feature.
How do the reminders work?
There are various types of reminders that can be set, and they are all optional:
Curbside recycling reminders – Frederick County’s curbside recycling program follows a bi-weekly collection schedule throughout the year. You can choose to:
receive a reminder every other week, for each of your collection days,
be reminded only when your collection day changes from its normal pick up, such as for
For all reminders, you can select 1 or more of the advance notice options and choose when you are reminded—anywhere from 1 week to 1 hour in advance.
Special events and 1 time collections – If there is a special event, such as a Residential Household Hazardous Waste Drop Off day, or a seasonal recycling program, such as temporary Christmas tree recycling drop off sites, you can get notification of these through My-Waste.
Does My-Waste have other information?
My-Waste contains a wealth of easily accessible information: including most aspects of Frederick County’s solid waste programs and services, including detailed information about:
Curbside and drop off center recycling, yard waste, bulky items, hazardous waste, etc.
A thorough ‘What Goes Where?’ database, with disposal instructions for over 2,000 searchable items (such as “digital camera” or “candy wrapper”)
Landfill / transfer station location, hours, accepted materials, fees, etc.
Links to Google maps, where needed
What if I have a problem with my recycling?
The “Report a Problem” feature can help! The My-Waste app features a special report function that allows residents to quickly and easily communicate non-emergency issues like missed collections, damaged recycling carts, and more. All a resident has to do is select the report-a-problem function, take a picture, provide the address and the issue is automatically emailed to Frederick County Department of Solid Waste Management staff.
What about trash or yard waste collection?
Trash, yard waste, bulk items and other collection programs are not managed by Frederick County Government, and vary greatly from region to region. The municipal governments, homeowners associations, and private businesses that provide these services do not report to the Department of Solid Waste Management. Because of this, we are unable to offer information on non-County programs.
How do I download My-Waste?
Using your smartphone or tablet computer, go to My Waste Mobile page and click on the icon (Apple or Android) at the bottom of the page that takes you to the correct site for your type of device. Once on the download page, click on the button to download the My-Waste app and follow the instruction that appear on your device’s screen. Depending on the strength of the internet signal and your devices operating speed, downloading and setting up the app will take 3-15 minutes.
To Sum Up... Many people may want to use the My-Waste app because:
My-Waste is able to provide a personalized collection schedule for your home
A variety of customizable reminders are available
The efficiency and convenience of the “Report a Problem” feature
The My-waste app text is concise, to the point and easy to read
Smartphones and tablets, by their nature, are generally close at hand, as opposed to a phone or
computer in your office, bedroom or basement
Virtually all information is accessible within 3 taps of the finger
There is greater integration between applications, for instance:
Tap on a phone number to instantly call that number
Tap on an email address to instantly send a message to that address
Tap on an address to be taken to Google Maps for specific directions