We are a trashy species. We generate tons and tons of waste each day, and while some of it ends up being recycled or disposed of in landfills, some of it also ends up in illegal dumps, where it is both an eyesore and an environmental hazard. Many of these illegal dumping sites go unreported, which means they won't be dealt with and cleaned up properly, even though some of them may be in plain sight.
A new smartphone app called TrashOut is taking aim at these illegal dumping sites by letting citizens put them on a crowdsourced online map. The app enables users to actively take part in documenting the illegal dumps by uploading pictures and GPS data, which can then be verified and reported to the appropriate local authorities.
The TrashOut map can help local activists and environmentalists by displaying all of the documented illegal dump sites nearby, either for cleanup campaigns or for sharing with the community and the media, which may be useful when trying to get the responsible parties to clean up their mess.
The app was developed and launched first in Slovakia, where hundreds of illegal dump sites have been documented already, and are being reported to the Ministry of Environment.
Download TrashOut for iPhone or Android (free app) and start reporting sites near you where illegal dumping is going on, or view nearby sites which still need cleanup and then organize a campaign to get started on one.