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“TrashOut”: RuNet's Interactive Map of Illegal Dumps

RuNet Echo This post is part of RuNet Echo, a Global Voices project to interpret the Russian language internet. All Posts · Learn more

A new environmental mobile app has launched [ru] in Russia. Named “TrashOut,” it is an interactive map of illegal garbage dumps that allows users to mark spots with garbage on a map.

This free app for iOS and Android devices, previously available in other languages, is now available in Russian thanks to a partnership between TrashOut and the Emerald Planet [ru] environmental initiative. Through this collaboration, Russia joins a global environmental initiative.

Elena Sharoykina, an environmentalist and the creator of Emerald Planet [ru], explains:

Интерфейс приложения TrashOut

TrashOut – более чем актуальное приложение для России, ведь в нашей стране ситуация с твердыми бытовыми отходами (ТБО) катастрофическая: более 90% мусора вывозится на свалки, по оценкам Росприроднадзора, их на сегодняшний день более 35 000, абсолютное большинство из них являются несанкционированными. Все это наносит непоправимый ущерб окружающей среде и здоровью россиян. С помощью приложения TrashOut и активных россиян мы узнаем о реальных местах расположения как крупных, так и небольших несанкционированных свалок. А самое главное — наглядно продемонстрируем властям и всем россиянам масштабы проблемы и потребуем экстренных мер для устранения конкретных свалок. Символично, что это приложение стало доступно россиянам в Год охраны окружающей среды.

TrashOut could not have come at a better time for Russia. Our country is facing a catastrophic situation when it comes to solid household waste: Rosprirodnadzor [a federal environment protection agency] estimates that over 90% of household rubbish goes to landfill sites, of which there are currently over 35,000 nationwide — the vast majority of them are unauthorized. All this is causing irreparable damage to the environment and to the health of Russians. With the help of the TrashOut app and a few active community members, we will discover the actual locations of illegal dumps, both large or small. Most important of all, we will clearly demonstrate the full extent of this problem to the authorities and to the Russian public, and will demand emergency measures to clear specific landfills. It is symbolic that the app has been made available to Russians in the Year of the Environment.

Spring is a time of year when Russia traditionally holds subbotniks [volunteer cleanup days] and community trash collection activities. The “Emerald Planet” environmental initiative appeals to those partaking in these events, and to Russians more broadly, to mark landfill sites on the map of Russia using the TrashOut app.

To take part in the drafting of the illegal dump-site world map, you need to:

  1. Install the application on your mobile phone. The TrashOut app is available for iPhone and Android operating systems.
  2. Mark the landfill site on the map. If you find an unauthorized dump, take a photo of it using the TrashOut app, select its size and the prevalent kind of waste, and a new indicator will appear on the trash map. The app will automatically determine the dump's location.

Download the app:

The data from the interactive map can be used to plan routes for eliminating landfills, within the framework of programs that are undertaken by government agencies and environmental organizations.

The TrashOut app was developed by young eco-activists from Slovakia who decided to create an efficient tool for identifying, capturing and updating the exact location of illegal dump sites on a world map via a mobile phone. In early 2013, the TrashOut app featured among the finalists of the European Cup for best mobile phone application (European AppCup).

This article was authored [ru] by Yekaterian Izmestyeva. The original [ru] can be accessed on the Teplitsa social technology website.

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