Calgary-based bottle collection app promises users will save time and money

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WATCH: A Calgary software company has designed an app for bottle and can collection. Global's Tomasia DaSilva explains how it works and how users and charities are cashing in – Sep 24, 2018

A Calgary software company has come up with a door-to-door bottle-collection app it says is a time-saver as well as a money-maker.

SkipTheDepot was designed in Calgary by a group of University of Calgary grads.

The app is described as ‘Uber for refundables.’ Users download it, put their address in, enter the number of bags to be picked up, then the app dispatches a crew to come and get the bottles or cans.

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Pickup is free, but the revenue is split — 70 per cent for the app user, 30 per cent for SkipTheDepot.

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“They don’t have to go and collect. They don’t have to spend the money on gas and time and all of that stuff,” Gayef said.

“So it’s kind of like we’ll do the dirty work for you and you get to keep most of the money.”

The company said it has upwards of 1 thousand users, everything from residential to commercial to charities and other organizations that do bottle drives.

The Alex Community Health Centre is one of an estimated 20 charities that have signed up.

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Officials said it has saved them both time and money.

“We’ve been with the program since June and we’ve received over $2,000 in donations that have come through that,” said marketing and engagement specialist Johanna Schwartz.

“Never mind the fact that they pick up at your door or at your work, you can do it on an app. It makes it really, really easy, much more advanced than we were ever able to do it as a charity.”

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Users who donate their bottles and cans through SkipTheDepot still get a tax receipt for helping the charity.

The company said another benefit is that users don’t have to put their bottles and cans in their recycle bins, so they get to keep the money instead of it going to the city.

SkipTheDepot currently serves Calgary and the community of Springbank. It plans to expand to Airdrie, Cochrane and Okotoks in the near future, and the rest of Alberta long-term.

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