New App Gamifies Picking Up Litter

Available on iOS and Android devices

A new mobile app is gamifying cleaning litter in cities around the world in an effort to make a cleaner world (via World Economic Forum). 

The app, called Litterati, available on iOS and Android devices, has led to more than 1,000,000 pieces of trash have been picked up and logged through the app. The idea being, when a user takes a picture of the litter they pick up, the app will pinpoint where the trash was, creating a map of the highest littered areas in a city. 

And Litterati is having significant impacts so far on the planet. According to World Economic Forum, "the large amount of cigarette butts littered in San Francisco created an increased sales tax that led to $4 million being generated to clean up the city. Also in the state of California, a school found out that most of their surrounding litter was plastic straws from their cafeteria, which led to the school getting rid of the straws altogether."

So far, due to the popularity of the app, the creators have been able to expand the app thanks to crowdfunding sources. Last year, a successful Kickstarter campaign raised more than $50,000 for further development. Additionally, the app was given a $225,000 grant from the National Science Foundation

According to World Economic Forum, this additional funding will be used in three ways. "Findings from schools, companies, and others will have more collaboration to make a better community overall. In the same vein, there will be maps to pinpoint various levels of litter down to the specific neighborhood. Finally, there will be plenty of data analysis for people to use, such as categorizing litter they pick up or optimizing trash can placement."

Litterati is available for free on both the iOS and Google Play online stores.