Tech companies frequently talk about new initiatives to reduce their impact on the environment, but it’s unusually uncommon that those projects have help other people take part in doing the same. Google Maps is jumping in with a new set of tools that make it easier for people to find out where they can dispose of their used up materials so they can be recycled properly.
Starting today, verified businesses can use the Google My Business page to identify the types of items they accept for recycling, including things like clothing, electronics, batteries, hazardous waste, glass, plastics. Since many businesses still don’t get verified, Google is also planning to begin prompting visitors to answer questions about drop-off locations to get more precise information. And for the proactive recyclers, it will be possible to submit your own edits to a location to help others find it.
Left: New page for adding recycling options. Right: Current search filters.
For now, it looks like this new data will be useful for determining what can be dropped off at a location, but there aren’t any filters yet that will help with finding locations in the first place. For example, it’s possible to search for ‘recycling center’ to get started, but there aren’t any ways to limit your search to just places that specifically accept batteries. This will probably come in the future, but at least the manual process of checking each location will be easier than it used to be.