Currently, litter cleanups, such as those organized by environmental organizations, businesses, municipalities and other entities, are very inefficient. They consist of a number of volunteers each being handed a bag, being told to walk around a general area, and being asked pick up any trash that they see. There's little to no intentionality with these cleanups and volunteers often find themselves retracing the steps of other volunteers and completely missing certain littered areas, which has a drastic effect on the overall effectiveness of the cleanup.

Thus, we wanted to make use of technology to alleviate these issues by aggregating volunteer location data during these cleanups in order to help cleanup organizers maximize the impact of their cleanups.

What it does

Cleanup Crew is a app/website combination enabling cleanup organizers to visualize and make valuable insights about the effectiveness of their cleanups. At the start of a cleanup, volunteers can sign up in our app using their Google account and search for the cleanup they plan to participate in. With the click of a button, volunteers can allow our app to track their location for the duration of the cleanup and aggregate the location data on a website in the form of a heatmap.

To prevent recording of extraneous location data, the cleanup organizer can set a start time, end time, and radius around the location of their cleanup. If the recorded location data is not between the start time, end time, or goes beyond the circular region of the cleanup, this data is not added to the heatmap.

After the conclusion of the cleanup, our heatmap enables cleanup organizers to easily determine the areas were covered by volunteers and which areas need to be covered.

How we built it

The app was created using a cross-platform mobile development framework called Ionic, allowing it to be run on both Android and iOS devices. We used MongoDB as our database for storing cleanup event information as well as volunteer location data.

Challenges we ran into

One of the major challenges we ran into was having a volunteer's location tracked and sent to our database continuously. In addition, Vue.JS and the Ionic framework were new to a majority of our team.

Accomplishments that we're proud of

We learned a lot, we didn't sleep, we ad a good time

What we learned

What's next for CleanupCrew

  • Implement cleanup event creation from within the app
  • Add app features to website, such as sign in, browse cleanups, etc.
  • Allow cleanup organizers to filter heatmap data by date, cleanup ID, etc.

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