Litterati: cleaning the world’s litter

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The solutions to our growing trash problems may be found in the fingerprints of data, left behind whenever someone litters.

What: Litterati.
Why: Crowdsource cleaning of our planet through tech and community
How: Mobile images of litter are geo-tagged, time-stamped, #hashtagged and uploaded to the digital landfill. The Litterati App tracks the impact with data analytics to solve the littering problem globally.
Where: Worldwide
Who: Jeff Kirschner, founder

Litterati in action

Crowdsourcing good deeds

Litterati is more than a mobile photo app. It’s a clever way to increase our collective consciousness of consumption footprints, and to contribute better to the global efforts of cleaning up the world. It harnesses the mutual desire to do good, and uses fun social technology to empower people to do more good.


Every quick snapshot of a piece of litter on the ground quickly adds up to a growing digital landfill, providing insightful big pictures of our trash problems around the world. To date, Litterati has mapped and picked up 250,000-plus garbage pieces in 100-plus countries while adding about 5,000 more pieces each week.

Data collected through this crowdsourcing initiative is forming clear evidences to help decision-makers around the world implement changes to tackle our trash problems

Success stories

01. San Francisco vs. cigarette companies

The city of San Francisco leveraged Litterati to implement a 20-cent ‘litter butt tax’ on cigarette companies.

Our data was used in court to not only defend but double the tax, generating an annual recurring revenues of four million dollars for San Francisco to clean itself up
Jeff Kirschner


02. Young activists

A group of 5th graders picked up 1,247 pieces of litter in their school yard. They discovered the most common litter item were straw packages from the school’s cafeteria.

These kids went to their principal and asked ‘why are we still buying straws?’ and they stopped. They learned that individually, they could each make a difference, but together they created an impact
Jeff Kirschner


Imagine what decision-makers will be able to do with insight drawn from this kind of data: from being more strategic about where to place trash cans, holding brands accountable to their product-leave-behinds, to beautifying entire urban landscapes. Billions of smartphone users can come together and contribute to the global efforts of making the world a better place for all.

The Author

Sarah Eskandarpour
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