Innovation That Matters

Listings app helps residents locate useable items left on sidewalks


Canada-based platform Trashswag offers crowdsourced images and information about salvageable goods nearby.

When an owner no longer needs an item, it’s often the case that it will be left outside for others to pick up if they can find a use for it. We recently wrote about the Goedzak scheme being implemented in the Netherlands to help pedestrians determine trash that may be reuseable, and now Canada-based app Trashswag is providing a way to let local residents locate streetside items that are available to take. Based in Toronto, the platform features ‘reports’ of items that are being thrown out, offering images and information about the quantity and quality of the goods. These reports can be submitted by anyone, so if a person passes by an unwanted item on the street they can send a report through the app. Those interested in using the items – which range from wood and scrap metal to furniture and household appliances – can use the Trashswag map to locate them and simply pick them up. Users don’t need to interact with the owner, but the platform does enable them to rate the credibility of the report to help others determine if it’s worth the trip. The app, which works through the Ushahidi mapping software, is available on both iOS and Android devices. The founders hope that Trashswag will encourage residents to re-use goods that aren’t quite ready for the skip, helping the environment and offering freebies to the local community.



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