Those wanting to combat littering in Ballarat have another weapon to add to their arsenal in the form of a phone app.
The app, dubbed Litterati, is being used by the Grampians Central West Recovery Group to better understand litter practices across western Victoria.
The group is hoping for community assistance in developing a more comprehensive record of types and locations of littering.
The app, which can be downloaded by anyone with a smartphone or tablet, allows community members to contribute to a better picture of littering practices by uploading and tagging photos of litter they encounter, creating a database.
Litterati was created and trialed in America, after a bush walk by creator Jeff Kirshner led to him posting photos of litter on his Instagram account.
“Rather than relying on anecdotal evidence or expensive litter audits which can only be done from time to time, we are asking the community to use the Litterati App to record and tag the litter as they see it,” GCWRG acting executive officer La Vergne Lehmann said.
“Essentially we are seeking to crowd source the information that we would never be able to get ourselves.”
A trip from Nhill to Ballarat was recently undertaken by members of the GCWRG to kickstart their understanding of litter dumped along the Western Highway.
Coffee cups, fast food containers, snack wrappers and used nappies all formed part of the data they collected through the App.
“If we can get community members to participate then can get so much more data to help us understand what the major litter issues in our region are,’ Ms Lehmann said.
“Apart from picking up the litter they can also provide us with the benefit of finding out what it is in a relatively easy way and often while they are doing their usual activities such as walking their dog or getting some exercise.”
“There is no doubt that building this database, over time, will help us to address specific problems such as the growing problem of coffee cups.”
For more information about the App or to assist in the project contact Ms Lehmann at email@example.com