Getting Wasted game aims to encourage recycling

Getting Wasted, hopes to encourage Manchester’s 70,000 students to tidy up and recycle more.

Created here at DigitalLabs@MMU, the phone, tablet and web based game involves players sorting through rubbish in virtual rooms and putting the waste into the correct bins. It’s simple to play and features different levels where the recycling needs to be sorted, becoming increasingly difficult with bonus items and levels.

Game levels include a particularly messy students’ bedroom filled with rubbish made from paper, glass, plastic and metal. Players have to beat the clock to progress to the next level and will be encouraged to post high scores on Twitter and Facebook.

Initial development was led by input from undergraduate students during induction who were set the task to use recycling as the inspiration of a game. The overall development was a collaboration from lots of people including the DigitalLabs@MMU interns with support from our full time development team.

Supporting the multiple platforms chosen for delivery was a significant challenge and considerable research went into selecting the appropriate technology. The level of responsiveness required to make this type of game feel right was only going to be achieved by creating a native app for each platform. We selected Cocos2d as the core framework as there are Android and HTML versions available for the other platforms. During development we moved the Android development from the C++ version of the framework to using Apportable which allowed us to cross compile the Objective-C code we had written for iOS and run it on Android.

As well as the platform there was the issue of supporting a wide range of devices with different screen sizes and configurations. Early on in the development cycle we settled on a percentage placement system to handle the screen sizes and had the core gameplay occur in a known central frame.

The fantastic artwork for the game was produced by local illustrator/artist Nicola Anderson.

The game was created after the Greater Manchester Waste Disposal Authority (GMWDA) was awarded funding from the European Union-funded LIFE+ Up and Forward Project. The project aims to work with different communities in Greater Manchester, including students, to increase recycling levels.

Councillor Neil Swannick, Chair of GMWDA, said: “We believe this game will be a great way to engage with students and teach them about recycling in a new and refreshing way.”

The game is available as a Free download from the following;


Get it on Google Play

For fast multitouch action the native iOS and Android versions can't be beaten, there is also a web based version available here