Down Syndrome Association of the Northern Territory Inc.
DSANT is a not-for-profit organization in the Northern Territory, Australia, which offers a wide range of programs supporting students, children, and young people (and their families) with intellectual disabilities, such as autism, Down Syndrome, Asperger’s Syndrome. There are about 10 employees who work with 30 or so volunteers in a number of programs to instill confidence and abilities in intellectually disabled youth.
One of the programs is Cash for Containers, a recycling program in which clients are assessed based on their abilities and assigned a certain number of collection addresses (more for higher functioning clients) with volunteers driving them to each location, along predetermined routes, to collect cans or bottles, which can bring 10 cents each, at the local recycling center. There are four different routes with over 90 stops at the moment.
Cassandra (“Sandy”) Scaife has been using GPS and google maps, to map out the addresses, which has been taking about 2-3 hours for each route. Furthermore, volunteer drivers have been getting lost. If there is time lost finding the way, a route that should take 5-6 hours could take 8 hours, or 2-3 days, instead of one, as extra days are added instead of lengthening time on the route.
With Route4Me, planning takes about 30 minutes, the addresses are cut and pasted into the route, and turn-by-turn directions are provided to the drivers.
Aside from saving time, keeping the days predictable, and routes scaled to one day’s work by a volunteer driver and a client, DSANT can add more routes. Scaife is printing out a map, to blow up and post at the local community boards. She will add, “are you on this route?”, to ask homeowners and business owners if they will participate to place themselves on the route to collect their containers. Expanding routes makes it possible to add more people and volunteers to this program. More volunteers, more participants and more clients helped in the Cash for Containers program results in more recycling–better for the environment. Everybody wins.