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Government 2.0: San Francisco Releases EcoFinder iPhone App

EcofinderiPhoneAt last, local governments are figuring out how to use smart phone applications for their own good. San Francisco has released a free EcoFinder iPhone app to help residents recycle and dispose of unwanted materials. The location-based app, produced by Haku Wale, uses San Francisco's XML data feed to guide residents towards drop-off points for items like mercury-filled compact fluorescent bulbs, gas tanks, printer cartridges, and furniture. Info used in the EcoFinder app will also go into Earth911's national recycling database. Until now, information available from the EcoFinder app could only be found on SFEnvironment's Web site.

It's an appropriate app for San Francisco, which just last week announced the country's most comprehensive mandatory recycling and composting laws.  When the laws go into effect this fall, a failure to separate out trash, composting, and recycling could lead to fines of up to $500.

This isn't the first time that San Francisco has leveraged the power of Web 2.0 for government programs. City residents can contact the city's 311 call center on Twitter to report graffiti and potholes or request information about city services. It's an active account—@SF311 has tweeted 80 times since its inception at the beginning of June.

EcoFinder for iPhone from Haku Wale on Vimeo.

[Via Cleantechnica]

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  • Steven Matt

    This is great the local government is actively addressing the issue of the dissemination of information about recycle centers. However, I think it would be much better if the local residents could offer input instead of strictly drawing from the government's predetermined database (we all know how government beaurocracy slows things down). The spread of information would be much faster and much richer if local residents were allowed to participate in the creation/review of the information through means of a wiki, adding comments, rating, reviews, etc. At, we're already working on such an application... on a global scale.