Dozens of concerned residents attended a meeting with state Rep. Jared Solomon to discuss trash and litter concerns in the Northeast residential areas.
Solomon started the event by reading a letter he received from a constituent: “Our neighborhood is filled with litter, and only a few sweep their sidewalks because cars are blocking them; some even have flat tires,” the letter read.
“We need a course correction when it comes to tackling residential trash,” Solomon said. “Because what we have been doing isn’t working.”
One of the solutions to the litter problem is a new app, developed by Morgan Berman, founder of MilkCrate, which builds apps for nonprofits named Glitter.
“Whether that street has a little bit of litter or a lot,” Berman said, “The goal is to get that street clean.”
Residents can report litter in their neighborhood, subscribe to a newsletter, organize trash pickups and send messages to other app users in the app. Its main feature is a crowdsourcing effort for neighbors, corporate sponsors and civic organizations to chip in to get their blocks cleaned. The cost to get a block cleaned weekly for a month is $140.
Residents can also sign up for an app called Glitter Cleaner. It works similar to how Uber and Lyft have separate apps for their drivers — that’s how they will get paid to clean their neighborhood. To apply to be a cleaner, residents need to fill out an application on Glitter’s website
Once the trash is collected, Terrill Haigler, aka Ya Fav Trashman, will pick it up. This former sanitation worker has taken to organizing cleanups and spreading awareness about the litter problem in Philadelphia. Haigler has picked up 110 tons of trash from Philadelphia through his work.
“It’s, it’s going to allow consistency, which is what the city is missing,” Haigler said. “They’re missing consistency on pickup, or missing consistency on cleanliness, they’re missing consistency on communication, and the app embodies all of those aspects.”
Glitter currently has five corporate sponsors: ShopRite; Comcast; The Rounds, which delivers sustainable products to people; Arts + Crafts Holdings; and Seer Interactive. Former Mayor Michael Nutter has also sponsored blocks in West Philadelphia.
“It was really wonderful to be able to take resources and skills and technology that we’ve developed to be able to tackle a problem I’ve been wanting to address since I was a child,” Berman said.
Residents who want to crowdsource need to provide their email addresses in an email to Berman at email@example.com. They can then pay for their portion via Venmo or PayPal. Android users can get the app from the Play Store and the app recently went live in the Apple store.
Many people accessed the app at the meeting, with Berman assisting them.
“People focused on what we need to do for a cleaner neighborhood and band together for a better quality of life,” Solomon said of the event.
Here is the link for iOS app and the PlayStore.
Follow the links in the story for more information. ••