City Success Stories Using Litterati Data

City, Residents, and Local Business Brought Together To Pick Up Over 1,000 Pieces of Litter Through Lodi, CA’s Engage Campaign

City, Residents, and Local Business Brought Together To Pick Up Over 1,000 Pieces of Litter Through Lodi, CA’s Engage Campaign

CONTEXT

The Water Stewards Program (WSP), as part of the California Conservation Corps, is dedicated to improving watershed health. It actively engages in restoration science, civic service, and community education to empower the next generation of environmental stewards.

It’s mission is to conserve, restore, and enhance watersheds by linking education with high quality scientific practices.

The WSP has been operating for 27 years and is a highly productive program for future employment in natural resources.

CHALLENGE

How do you bring a city closer together with multiple stakeholders in the community, especially when some differences must be put aside in order to work together in cooperation to create positive environmental change and prevent litter from reoccurring?

LITTERATI SOLUTION

Using the Litterati app, the WSP corps members created a challenge for their cleanup.

The WSP corps members invited the Delta Fly Fisher and City of Lodi to collect litter with them and install fishing line receptacles along Lodi Lake.

CONCLUSION

Using the app, each participant teamed up and worked together taking photos of litter.

Together they collected approximately 1,100 pieces of litter, with a combined weight of 50 pounds.

Cigarette butts were the most prevalent item found – 309. The most interesting items collected were a large green rubber cartoon character and a single black sandal removed from the lake.

To prevent future litter:

  • 4 fishing line receptacles were installed along the lake
  • As part of the partnership, the Delta Fly Fishers will regularly monitor and empty the receptacles
  • Discarded fishing line will be sent to a Berkley Fishing to be recycled

For more information, please see the press release from Lodi, California on this event.

Wake County’s Engage Campaign Bonds Residents Closer Together In Shared Mission To Clean

Wake County’s Engage Campaign Bonds Residents Closer Together In Shared Mission To Clean

CONTEXT

In August 2021, Wake County launched a Litterati Engage challenge for its 86It campaign. The 86It intends to change littering behavior and instill a sense of community pride and responsibility amongst residents.

A major part of Wake County’s success strategy was to reach out to its various municipalities and local service organizations to recruit volunteers and amplify the overall impact of the campaign.

One of those local organizations was the League of Women Voters (LWV), a grassroots nonpartisan political organization committed to empowering voters and defending democracy.

The LWV started as a mighty political experiment designed to help 20 million newly enfranchised women vote in 1920. Today it remains as an important civil organization and is a recognized force that molds political leaders, shapes public policy, and promotes informed citizen participation at all levels of government.

  CHALLENGE

Litter is detracting from the beauty of Wake County and the cities within it like Raleigh, Durham, Chapel Hill, and more.

Litter decreases neighborhood pride and its presence can beget more litter in addition to potentially increasing the prevalence of other issues like graffiti, vandalism, and robbery if it accumulates in the environment.

“North Carolina is a beautiful state. Raleigh is a beautiful city. Wake County is great. But you drive down the road, and there’s so much garbage on the street.”
          – Mignon Tucker, Wake County Resident

LITTERATI SOLUTION

Wake County granted one of their Engage partner account licenses to the League of Women Voters and they used it to create their own litter challenge under Wake’s overall account. 

And LWV volunteers got involved in the effort to clean up Wake County. One of the citizens was the above quoted Mignon Tucker who began noticing increasing amounts of litter as she was walking her dogs.

Mignon made it her New Year’s Resolution to pick up litter while getting exercise with her pets. Mignon began posting her litter hauls on NextDoor where she connected with another LWV volunteer Jeri Gray.

Jeri invited Mignon to join the LWV Litterati challenge, but when Mignon replied that she doesn’t use a smart phone Jeri began to join her on her litter walks.

LWV Volunteer Jeri Gray understood the value of gathering data on the litter Mignon was cleaning up each day.

Says Gray, “Litterati will allow us to identify places where litter is worst and come up with strategies to reduce or eliminate litter.” 

CONCLUSION 

Despite Mignon not having a smart phone to document litter in the Litterati app, these women worked together to beautify their neighborhood.

Jeri remarked, “We’ve learned that most people really hate litter and desperately want solutions to the problem. Many will help clean up if they are encouraged and enabled to do so.”

The Clean Up Wake County challenge has cleaned and collected data on over 9,500 pieces of litter, putting them nearly halfway to their challenge goal of 20,000 pieces just a few months into a yearlong campaign. 

Within a month, LWV has activated and engaged 10 volunteers themselves and have already far surpassed their organization’s original challenge goal.

With their current challenge wrapping up, the LWV volunteers are already brainstorming what their next challenge topic should be and looking forward to getting more people involved.

Austin, TX TrashBlitz Campaign Data Reveals That Nearly 70% of All Litter Found in City is Plastic

Austin, TX TrashBlitz Campaign Data Reveals That Nearly 70% of All Litter Found in City is Plastic

CONTEXT

In the summer of 2021, three organizations + one litter data platform launched TrashBlitz Austin.

5 Gyres, Inland Ocean Coalition, Into the Sea, and Litterati worked together with 168 participants to document and collect litter at 80 locations throughout Austin, Texas.

The data from these cleanups was uploaded into Litterati’s data platform, where both people and AI technology categorized everything by type, material, and brand to understand the trash collected.

This open-sourced report shows a clear and immediate need to push for policy change that focuses on source reduction of single-use plastics. 

Key Data Points:

  • 68% of all observed trash was made of plastic.

     

  • The top objects found were cigarette butts (32%), food wrappers (22%), and bottle caps (7%).

     

  • Food & Drink, Smoking Materials and Personal Hygiene made up the top three categories found.

     

  • Single-use food and drink-related items, including wrappers, bottles, caps, straws, bags and utensils, were the most common items found and made up 1/3 of all observed trash.

     

  • The top three brands were Coca-Cola, Marlboro, and McDonalds.

CHALLENGE

Like every city in America, Austin, Texas has a litter problem. Can Austinites come together to help their city  tackle the root causes of their litter issues?

To answer this question, 5 Gyres, Inland Ocean Coalition, Into the Sea, and Litterati created the Austin City TrashBliz.

The goal of the campaign was to collect data across the city that would provide insight to help answer critical questions like 

  • How does the prevalence of litter, and specifically single-use plastic, impact the city?

     

  • Which areas of the city are most impacted by litter?

     

  • What are the top littered items, what materials are they made of, and which brands produce the litter found across the city of Austin?

 

LITTERATI SOLUTION

By training and recruiting volunteers to collect data on the Litterati platform and then utilizing Litterati’s data science capabilities, the Austin Trashblitz yielded insights about specific areas of focus for future cleanups and opportunities to bring forward legislative action taking on plastic single-use items. 

See the executive highlights of the report here.

Take a deep dive into the data with the full report embedded below:

How an Employee Engagement Campaign Inspired an Individual to Mobilize 40+ organizations

How an Employee Engagement Campaign Inspired an Individual to Mobilize 40+ organizations

CONTEXT

In September 2020, the Alliance to End Plastic Waste (AEPW) launched a campaign for its member companies. Of the 1000s of individuals participating in the campaign, Robert Garcia Pano is one such individual. He was inspired by the power of individual actions & data that he decided to launch his own Challenge in the app called the Catalunya CleanUp Challenge.

CHALLENGE

How can you create an ecosystem of organizations, individuals and institutions that come together to create data-driven solutions?

LITTERATI SOLUTION

On 25th September 2020, Robert launched the Catalunya CleanUp Challenge (CCC) on the Litterati platform that allowed him to invite schools & organizations to contribute to his initiative. In october 2020, CCC registered itself at European Week for Waste Reduction. The goal of the challenge was to collect 100,000 pieces for World Environment Day 2021. 

 

A strong believer in the Butterfly Effect, Robert was able to bring together 40 organizations ranging from corporates, schools, public administrations and even the Catalan government to see the value in collecting 454,000+ pieces & mapping, cataloging them.

 

CONCLUSION

What started as mere inspiration from a WhatsApp message from a coworker picking up litter with her kids has encouraged him to do a 30 min litter pick up every day before work. He was inspired to create a challenge for his community of friends and family but then decided to reach beyond his network and managed to easily mobilize over 240 individuals. 


It has led to meetings with schools, awareness programs with organizations and several agreements with city councils around Catalunya.

Here’s some tips that Robert considers the stepping stones to this ripple effect:

  • using a slogan “It is not my garbage, but it IS my planet”
  • often mentions the importance of the “butterfly effect” even for very small actions, and 
  • creating partnerships along the spectrum of impact.

His efforts and actions have been eye-opening and truly inspiring. We hope to support Robert and his ecosystem to do bigger things in order to achieve his goal:
“Catalunya can be the first region to engage their whole community in litter data collection and application to government-level change.”

Download the Free Litterati App

Direct links to download on iOS or an Android. Plus watch our founder's 6 minute TED Talk!

Download Free App

Download Your City's Litterati Report

Litter has already been picked up in your city. See the amount, the location, and the tags for Object, Material, and Brand of litter in your city

Free Litter Report

Apply for REP or MAP

Complete a short application to get your questions answered and learn more with a demo of Litterati for your city

Apply Now

Popular Posts