In Calgary, the growing success of an application that signals the presence of litter

In Calgary, the growing success of an application that signals the presence of litter

&In Calgary, the growing success of an application that signals the presence of waste

Initiator, University of Calgary student Angelina Hajji grew Keep the Earth Fresh from 10 members 2 years ago to 90 local members currently.

In Calgary, a citizen initiative is behind the creation of an application that allows you to create a heat map and identify the places where the greatest number of uncollected litter is concentrated in the city. metropolis and even elsewhere in the world.

The data collected by the Keep the Earth Fresh application allows volunteers to determine the areas to be tackled during of their cleaning days.

It is difficult to target the places where there is the most waste. This is something I have seen developing these routes and having volunteers go to different sites, says Angelina Hajji, founder of the initiative.

This data is particularly important today, she says, as the group has seen an increase in litter littering the streets of Calgary in recent times. During a recent cleanup at Prince's Island Park, volunteers picked up 108kg of trash.

Maybe it's because Calgary is getting more crowded. The City may also not have as many resources to target these areas or may not understand where the waste is. I think this is another reason why the app will be very useful.

Angelina Hajji worked on the design of the Keep the Earth app Fresh with other volunteers: Ronny Maichle and Ali Mohsen.

The app isn't just relevant in Calgary, says Angelina Hajji. So far, it has been downloaded in Canada, USA, UK, Spain and UAE.

According to Angelina Hajji, the group wants to work with similar organizations and governing bodies around the world to find ways to fight litter together.

Phase 2 of the application is expected to be launched within the next six months.

It will include a function to join or initiate cleaning operations on the app. Citizens will be able to connect with each other, all over the world, and come together in order to do more trash cleanups and not feel alone when they do it, she points out.

The Keep the Earth Fresh app has been downloaded in Canada, the United States, the United Kingdom, Spain and the United Arab Emirates.

Dan Shugar, Associate Professor and director of the environmental science program at the University of Calgary, is delighted with this news. He explains that he often works with students who are worried about the state of the planet, but don't know how to make things happen.

“It was great to see this group of young Calgarians take the bull by the horns and find a way to make a difference in our community.

— Dan Shugar, Environmental Science Program Director, University of Calgary

Dan Shugar believes the application's potential is still bigger.

In particular, he would like that as more people enter data and patterns of litter distribution emerge, that information will be used to target larger-scale initiatives to prevent the build-up of litter. .

Alternatively, citizens of Calgary are encouraged to contact 311 to report or file a complaint regarding litter areas. Angelina Hajji is trying to change that.

“I would like to work with the City to put in place a way for residents to report waste and streamline the process.

— Angelina Hajji, originator of the Keep the Earth Fresh initiative

Councillor Evan Spencer, who represents Ward 12, says that although the City has responsibility for most public spaces, people need to work together to address these issues.

With information from Karina Zapata< /p>